Penske Honda DPi dream team Montoya Castroneves Ricky Taylor






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    Penske Honda DPi dream team Montoya Castroneves Ricky Taylor



    PRUETT: Conjuring a Penske Honda DPi dream team

    Tuesday, 02 May 2017


    By Marshall Pruett / Image by Paul Webb, LAT



    ABOVE: Future IndyCar champ Pagenaud was a star in HPD-powered prototypes in 2010, and would be one of several great prospects for a future Penske-Honda prototype program
    Honda and Penske have yet to confirm the Daytona Prototype international program we know is coming, but that shouldn't stop us from having some fun by looking at a few of drivers that could fill the part- and full-time seats.

    I continue to hear the two parties will split the driver selections, with HPD slotting two of its preferred full-timers into one car and Penske controlling the names of who will lead the other entry. If that's the case, the DPi partners can expect a Black Friday situation on their hands as dozens of drivers try to cram through a small door to get in line for IMSA's newest and biggest program.


    Once we factor in the extra drivers that will be needed for the long races on the calendar, the hiring spree could expand to fill eight positions for 2018. We already know Penske's two-time Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya will occupy one of the Captain's seats, so who should Roger and the gang at HPD consider for the other openings? And where might they look for talent?
    Answers can be found from within their respective racing organizations, in IMSA's WeatherTech SportsCar Championship paddock, and possibly from the Verizon IndyCar Series.
    Helio Castroneves (Scott LePage/LAT)
    PENSKE'S ALL-STARS

    Of the two companies, Penske has a deeper pool of drivers to call upon for the 2018 DPi project. With Montoya in place, the second full-time seat would appear to be waiting for Penske IndyCar star Helio Castroneves to fill, and while I'm confident he'll end up in the car, I'm not sure he's ready to make the transition at the end of the year. Yes, he turns 42 next week, and yes, he's been racing open-wheel cars forever, but he's also captured two poles this year (from four races) and sits sixth in the championship heading into Indy.

    Helio might be getting up there in age compared to IndyCar's young lions, but he continues to produce at a high level for Roger. If he'd lost a step and was struggling to run with the Simon Pagenauds and Will Powers and Josef Newgardens, sure, a return to sports cars with Penske would be a natural fit. Considering his pace in the old Penske Porsche RS Spyders he demonstrated in the ALMS, more can be expected when the Honda DPi transition happens. I'd just be surprised if it takes place next year.
    Bernard/Dumas Penske Porsche P2, 2008 ALMS (Michael Levitt/LAT photo)
    Penske's championship-winning Porsche LMP2 effort built enduring relationships with many of the drivers who wielded the bad-fast prototypes, and with the demotion of 2016 WEC LMP1 champion Romain Dumas to a state of flux within Porsche, the Frenchman's strong ties with RP and team president Tim Cindric lead me to believe a reunion in a Honda DPi could be possible.
    There's also Ricky Taylor to consider. The Prototype points leader tested an Indy car for Penske earlier this year, and while there were suggestions he was being evaluated for something in open-wheel, I'd have to think RP was using the closest thing he has to a DPi to get a feel for the Floridian's talent and feedback. Knowing the type of driver Penske and Cindric prefer clean cut, focused, more reserved than outspoken, a proven winner Taylor is everything they could ask for.
    DEC 9: All Cars 2nd Saturday Free Breakfast click: https://www.tamparacing.com/forums/event-coverage/824717-every-2nd-saturday-we-having-free-breakfast-tampa.html Same day is a HUGE all-cars show at Reeves Porsche in Tampa

    Tampa Racing.com covers the Tampa car scene and supports many fund raisers, worthy causes and events that enrich our community. We hope you enjoy them all.
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    Montoya 'having a blast' with new Acura DPi ride

    Monday, 04 December 2017


    By Marshall Pruett / Images courtesy of Acura



    Juan Pablo Montoya loves his Acura ARX-05 DPi. It's as serious and simple as that.
    In his three decades of professional racing, Montoya has driven just about everything one could dream of. Formula 1 cars with phenomenal power and sound. IndyCars that flirted with 240 mph on big ovals. Stock cars that, well, do whatever they do, and Grand-Am Daytona Prototypes, with their GT-cars-on-steroids charm.
    Montoya even tested Porsche's 1000-plus horsepower 919 Hybrid LMP1 car, which he also loved, but we've never heard the two-time Indy 500 winner rave about a car like he has with the ORECA 07 LMP2-based Acura ARX-05. Known for his no-nonsense ways, the Colombian isn't one to heap praise on something where it doesn't belong.
    It makes the 42-year-old's unabashed appreciation for the new mount he'll share with Dane Cameron a rather refreshing thing to hear.


    "I'll be honest, 100 percent, I've driven some different ones; some have been a lot of fun, some hasn't been so much fun. You can ask anybody that was at the first test that the smile on my face when I was getting out of the car was unreal. I loved it," JPM told RACER.
    "You can hustle the hell out of it. The car really rewards driving hard and pushing it. For me, that's unbelievable. Nowadays, most of the racecars you've got to sissy them around and be nice and just drive them on 80 or 90 percent because if you drive them too hard, the tires go. And this Acura, honestly, the more you ask for it, the more will give you. It's unbelievable."

    Adding to the purity of Montoya's love for his new IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship career is the motivation that led to his full-time presence in the No. 6 ARX-05. Known for his miserly ways, all those years of earning in F1, NASCAR and IndyCar made it possible for Montoya to retire after the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season when he was replaced at Team Penske by Josef Newgarden.


    Without a genuine need to keep going – especially in a sports car series with a smaller profile – the 1999 CART champion could have walked away from the sport. Instead, he chose to continue and, as he reveals, his raw enthusiasm for IMSA's DPi formula helped Penske IndyCar teammate to find peace in hos own transition from open-wheel to the new Acura program.
    "For me, that's why I do it," Montoya continued. "If I didn't like the car, I'd go do something different with my life. But to have the opportunity to be in this project and commit to it and to have the pleasure of driving the car is so good, the performance side of the car is incredible.


    "I was talking to Helio [Castroneves] and he said, 'The fast corners, how fast can I go through?' I said, 'As fast as you feel like.' He said, 'What do you mean?' I said, 'Honestly, the car will take it and you go through these fast corners and it's like, oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. It didn't move. It didn't move. It didn't move.'


    "And you push more. It still doesn't move. When you have a feeling like that, oh. And then you put new tires on and you go for it more. And you've still got room. It's like, how the hell could you not want to drive this car? Helio, his mind was blown, and then he drove it and felt what I was talking about. And he loves it too."
    Shifting from years of racing spec models in IndyCar and NASCAR to helping Acura Team Penske develop the ARX-05 DPi has also rekindled something warm within Montoya.

    "It's so user-friendly and it's so much fun. The other thing I loved is that it's back to a real car, where if you need to develop something, you can," he said. "We can develop the traction control and the braking and this and that and you can make it downshift the way you want to. You can change everything the way you want it and that's just a pleasure. That's pretty exciting, to be honest. I'm having a blast right now, for real."




































    DEC 9: All Cars 2nd Saturday Free Breakfast click: https://www.tamparacing.com/forums/event-coverage/824717-every-2nd-saturday-we-having-free-breakfast-tampa.html Same day is a HUGE all-cars show at Reeves Porsche in Tampa

    Tampa Racing.com covers the Tampa car scene and supports many fund raisers, worthy causes and events that enrich our community. We hope you enjoy them all.
    What do I do? ---- on-site *Aftermarket* spring/suspension installations --- on-site impact wrenching---street lowering with your own stock springs...........True Bi-xenon HID projector headlight conversions........ Much more at Bob's Garage!
    https://www.tamparacing.com/forums/b...ontact-us.html

    Have a great day! [email protected] and 813-839-4281 (24 hrs)


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