Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Montoya is moving on to his next racing challenge.
August 15, 2017
Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya is officially switching to sports cars, as Team Penske announced the first driver pairing for its two-car effort in the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship.
Montoya will pair with sports-car veteran Dane Cameron in one of two Acura Daytona Prototype International ARX-05s.
Team Penske plans to announce its other two full-time drivers, as well as additional drivers for the endurance races, at a later date. It's expected that three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves will drive the second car.
The official unveiling of the new ARX-05 race car is scheduled for Friday as part of Monterey Car Week in California, while the full team will make its competition debut with the new Acura prototype sports cars at the 2018 season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.
“We worked together with our partners at Acura Motorsports and Honda Performance Development to bring together drivers that we believe will help develop our program and compete for race wins right out of the gate while also serving as great ambassadors for their brands,” said team owner Roger Penske. “Having Juan and Dane join our program brings together two drivers that have extensive sports car racing experience in the prototype class and have already won at the top levels of the sport. This represents a great beginning to our program for 2018."
Montoya is the only driver to win an IndyCar championship, the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Daytona, all in his first attempt. He is also a past winner of Formula 1’s Monaco Grand Prix. Montoya and legendary racers Mario Andretti and Dan Gurney are the only drivers who can boast wins in Formula 1, IndyCar and NASCAR. In addition, Montoya has won two Indianapolis 500s -- including the 2015 race with Team Penske, the 24 Hours of Daytona three times and he earned seven Formula 1 victories in his career.
Montoya is currently helping to test and develop the new IndyCar aero kit that will debut in 2018, and he will also test the new ARX-05 in preparation for next season.
“I have really enjoyed working with Roger and Team Penske over the last four years,” said Montoya. “When Roger asked if I’d like to be part of starting this new sports-car operation with Acura, it was an easy decision. I’ve always loved racing sports cars. It’s definitely a challenge, and it’s going to be a lot of fun to develop a new car with Acura. I’m excited to start the testing of the ARX-05 next week. Team Penske started its winning tradition in sports cars, and it’s going to be cool to be a part of a new chapter with the team.”
Cameron is a two-time and reigning IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar series champion. He currently competes in the series prototype class for Action Express Racing, and he’s earned one win (at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park) and four podium finishes in 2017. Over the course of the last three seasons behind the wheel of the Action Express prototype, Cameron has produced five class victories and he captured the 2016 series title. With 12 career sports-car wins across Grand-Am, American Le Mans and the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship, Cameron also won the 2014 IMSA GTD championship driving for Turner Motorsports.
“Getting a chance to race for Team Penske is like a dream come true for a driver,” said Cameron. “To see all of the effort and resources that Acura Motorsports is putting into this new program to develop and win with the ARX-05, it’s really impressive. I’m so excited for the opportunity to become part of the team and work with a guy who has done all the things Juan has done. It’s going to be an awesome experience to add my name to the list of drivers that have driven for Team Penske. I’m looking forward to a busy offseason and coming out of the gates strong at Daytona.”
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