Roger Penske will be heading back to the 24 Hours of Le Mans this season for the first time in 51 years as his racing team announced an LMP2 entry in the FIA Sportscar World Endurance Championship.
With a full-time Porsche entry slated in the new LMDh division next season for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and WEC, Team Penske announced Wednesday that it will enter an ORECA 07-Gibson in the LMP2 division for the 2022 WEC. The season begins at Sebring International Raceway in March and will include the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 11-12 (as well as Spa, Monza, Fuji and Bahrain).
The last time Penske competed at the famed French endurance race was the 1971 24 Hours of Le Mans with drivers Mark Donohue and David Hobbs.
Dane Cameron, Felipe Nasr (the 2021 IMSA co-champion in DPi) and Emmanuel Collard will be the drivers for Penske’s first foray into the WEC, which allows for building familiarity with the parameters of LMDh.
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“We look forward to learning as much as we can about the WEC process in 2022 as most of our competition has competed in this series for many years,” Team Penske president Tim Cindric said in a release. “Much like the approach we took by running Road Atlanta in 2017 when we returned to sports car racing (in 2018 with Acura in DPi) after an eight-year hiatus, we think the LMP2 class provides us a means of gaining valuable experience as we continue to build our program to compete full-time in the IMSA and WEC LMDh class.”
“Outside of Sebring and Spa, racing at some of these historic tracks all around the world will be a new experience for both myself and the team,” said Cameron, who raced a Penske Acura from 2018-20 and won the 2019 DPi title with Juan Pablo Montoya. “We want to learn, but we also want to be competitive and race for class wins. This will also be a great opportunity to build our notebooks to be even better prepared for the future. I’m excited to race at these historic tracks against some great competition in WEC, and it’s going to be incredible to compete for Team Penske at Le Mans.”
— Felipe Nasr (@FelipeNasr) January 12, 2022
Nasr, a veteran of Formula One and Formula E who has two IMSA championships, raced an LMP2 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2018 and ’21.
“Joining Team Penske in a great opportunity and I can’t wait to compete in WEC and return to Le Mans this year,” Nasr said. “I know we’ll learn a lot as a team as we develop our program and gain some great experience. I’m really excited to get to work as we begin to build momentum for the future.”
Collard has 24 starts at Le Mans (including a GT win in 2003 and LMP2 in ’09) and raced a Porsche RS Spyder for Penske in the American Le Mans Series from 2006-08 (winning the overall at the Mobil 1 Twelver Hours of Sebring).