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DATE News (chronologically)
07/12/11
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Penske to field Porsche LMP1 team?
After an ultra-successful run in the American Le Mans Series together, could Penske Racing reunite with Porsche for its factory LMP1 effort in 2014? Team Principal Roger Penske revealed on Sunday’s Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain that he’s had preliminary talks with the German manufacturer on a potential effort that could see his fabled American team return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time in over 40 years.

Penske is no stranger to the world of sportscar racing, having fielded Porsche’s factory RS Spyder program in the American Le Mans Series from 2005-2008. The LMP2 effort, which saw the DHL-sponsored prototypes earn 24 victories and three class championships, was brought to a close at the end of a planned three-year run.

While Porsche has since continued its involvement in the GT ranks with works-supported customer programs, it recently announced plans of returning with a full-factory LMP1 effort in 2014. Few details have been released, but there’s already been a strong level of interest from prospective teams and drivers wanting to be part of the new program, including Penske.

“We had a chance to meet with Ferdinand Piech, who has become the leader of the whole Volkswagen group, [as well as] Wolfgang Durheimer, who now runs the motorsports part,” Penske said on Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain.

“With the recent announcement of Porsche going back to Le Mans in [2014], we hope we can be a part of that program. There’s nothing to announce at this point. But obviously, we had great success in the LMP2 with the [RS] Spyder.

“[Porsche] drivers Romain Dumas, Timo Bernhard and Mike Rockenfeller have been stars over there [with Audi] and we’d like to get them back in a Penske Racing Porsche and see if we can’t take on Le Mans. It’s one race we’ve not been successful in. Again, it would be a great honor to be there and partake in that fantastic race.”  SPEEDTV.com

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