Alexander Rossi will join Team Penske in the No. 7 Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype International entry alongside full-time drivers Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor for the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. Rossi will fill the seat vacated by Graham Rahal, who was part of last year’s Rolex 24 lineup.
Rossi will also be part of the driver lineup later in the year for the 12 Hours of Sebring.
“I have watched and raced against Team Penske in IndyCar and I have a lot of respect for the organization and what they do and how they do it,” said Rossi in a press release. “I really appreciate Andretti Autosport for allowing me the opportunity to represent Acura in some of the biggest sports car races in the world. I can’t wait to work with Helio and Ricky, to learn from them and hopefully contribute to some wins and a championship for Acura Team Penske.”
Rossi burst onto the scene in 2016 by winning the Indy 500 in his rookie appearance. Since then, he has five wins total in 50 starts, including three last year at Mid-Ohio, Long Beach and Pocono.
Rossi has one previous Rolex 24 to his credit in a Delta Wing Prototype in 2014. The team retired on lap 288 of 695 with a gearbox failure.
“Alexander will be a great addition to the Acura Team Penske lineup in 2019 and all of us at Acura are very excited about our prospects for the coming season,” said Art St. Cyr, President of Honda Performance Development. “When you add Alexander to the experienced team of Helio, Ricky, Juan and Dane – and with Simon returning for the endurance events – we are extremely proud of the talented and accomplished Acura Team Penske driver lineup.
“We look forward to our second opportunity to win the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the ARX-05. Alexander has been a great representative of Honda in the IndyCar Series, from his Indy 500 victory in 2016 to competing for the title this past season. We are pleased to have this opportunity to build our relationship with him through our sports car program. ”
Team Penske’s second car will be driven by Simon Pagenaud, Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron.
The 2019 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona will take place in 50 days and can be seen in its entirety on NBCSN and the NBC Sports App.
After announcement, Rahal expressed his regrets at not being part of the Team Penske lineup. Last year, he finished ninth overall in the No. 7 with Castroneves and Taylor.