Team Penske will race at 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2022 with LMP2 entry on WEC circuit

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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.”

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).

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.