Could Roger Penske be close to running a Porsche LMP1? (No) UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. Despite a series of recent rumors linking the fabled U.S. team with a factory Porsche LMP1 program for next year, Penske Racing's Tim Cindric has denied that such plans are in works.
Speaking to SPEED.com in an exclusive interview Thursday, the team president, who oversees the organization's championship-winning NASCAR and IndyCar programs, says a return to sports car racing for 2014 is not currently in the cards.
"I can tell you that there are a lot of rumors floating around about us and Porsche and that type of thing, but there's really nothing to that," Cindric said. "I wish there were. We're not positioned to do a Porsche program for next year. Right now, we don't have any plans for 2014 for sports cars as we sit here today.
"There's nothing at all, and nothing really on the horizon, to be honest. There's an outside chance of one situation but it's not what everybody has been talking about."07/18/13 Potentially, the most successful owner in IndyCar may be branching out his empire once again.
Roger Penske has said before – most recently on a 2012 appearance on SPEED’s “Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain” that the only major “first” thing left on his to-do list is to go to Le Mans and win the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Sports car racing insider Mike Fuller, whose Mulsanne’s Corner blog site is one of the most detailed when it comes to technical regulations and explanations of the sports car world, posted a tweet Wednesday that would seem to add fuel to the fire.
This follows a post on DailySportsCar from Graham Goodwin and Gary Horrocks a couple weeks ago that provided an update on a rumored P1 breakaway series, which may or may not materialize for 2014.
The reason that rumor ignited is because the P1 class has been eliminated from the merged United SportsCar Racing championship for 2014, and the P1 teams from the American Le Mans Series have to make alternative plans to either move down a class (the P2/Daytona Prototype/DeltaWing combined “P” class in USCR) or switch to the FIA World Endurance Championship, which still features P1 as the top class.
Now, if you’re not confused at this point, good on you. Here’s essentially what all the above copy means for the Penske file.
Penske last competed in sports car racing in 2009 with a Riley Porsche DP in GRAND-AM’s Rolex Series, after completing a three-year stint with the Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 chassis in the American Le Mans Series.
The sports car crew used in 2009 in GRAND-AM eventually moved over to Penske’s IndyCar program, which ran Will Power in a third car part-time in 2009 before the Australian was promoted to a third full-time car in 2010. This year, keep in mind, Penske has scaled back from a three-car to a two-car full-time IndyCar program, with a third for AJ Allmendinger at selected races.
Penske and Porsche have always been inextricably linked from a sports car standpoint. The only place Porsche’s new LMP1 contender is eligible to race, at the moment, is in the WEC, with Le Mans as the centerpiece of the schedule.
We’re not saying this is going to happen, but having two sports car insiders link the two together means this is something that is definitely simmering. The question now is if or when it will come to a full boil. NBC Sports.com