Track: Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta
Race: Petit Le Mans
Date: October 12, 2019
No. 6 Acura ARX-05 DPi – Dane Cameron/Juan Pablo Montoya/Simon Pagenaud
Overall Finish: 4th
Class Finish: 4th
Laps Completed: 464/465
Points: 1st – 11th sports car championship in team history
- The No. 6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 DPi claimed the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC) on Saturday evening at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. In just their second year of competition, Acura and Team Penske combined to win their first IWSC title, and the 11th sports car championship in the 53-year history of Team Penske.
- The trio of Dane Cameron, Juan Pablo Montoya and 2019 Indianapolis 500 winner Simon Pagenaud entered the Petit Le Mans weekend at Michelin Raceway needing only an eighth-place finish to secure the Bishop-France Trophy. An up-and-down day for the No. 6 Acura team resulted in a fourth-place finish, the team's first non-podium finish since March in a remarkably consistent season that led to a title.
- Cameron qualified the Acura in the fourth position, and he settled in there as the race began. The team was able to gradually move up early in the event, despite lacking rear grip under a hot Georgia sun.
- A strong pit sequence just past the halfway point of the race put Pagenaud at the front of the field. They would remain toward the front as the sun began to set over the circuit.
- The Acura was not as strong during the night, but the talented group of drivers were able to turn consistent, conservative laps to ensure they ran the rest of the way with no mistakes to secure a solid finish, allowing them to celebrate the championship achievement.
"It feels great to be able to cap off a really great year with our first championship. We learned a lot in 2018 and I think we came back in our second year with a great ARX-05. After learning each other in our first year as teammates, Dane and I worked really well together this year. And the Acura guys gave us everything we needed all year. Team Penske has been having an amazing year this year and I'm glad we could pitch in with three wins and an IMSA championship."
- Juan Pablo Montoya
No. 7 Acura ARX-05 DPi – Helio Castroneves/Ricky Taylor/Graham Rahal
Overall Finish: 3rd
Class Finish: 3rd
Laps Completed: 465/465
Points: 3rd (-18)
- Helio Castroneves, Ricky Taylor and Graham Rahal finished third in Saturday's Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, the fifth IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship podium finish of the year for the No. 7 Acura ARX-05 DPi
- Taylor was chosen to qualify the Acura on Friday afternoon and he responded by putting the team on the outside of the front row. Qualifying was a strong suit for the team all year as they never started outside the top three in 2019.
- As the race began, Taylor settled into the fourth position after getting caught in lapped traffic late in his first stint. The No. 7 was also plagued by rear tire degradation under the bright sun.
- After turning the wheel over to Castroneves, the team narrowly avoided disaster as Castroneves made heavy contact with an LMP2 entry in a downhill portion of the track. The team pitted under the ensuing caution to change the front wing and the Acura was unimpeded the rest of the way.
- The team was able to maneuver back through the field with Rahal driving up to the third position just before the halfway point of the 10-hour endurance event. The trio of drivers kept the Acura near the front of the field for most of the second half of the race, and capitalized on some late race mistakes by other drivers to secure the finish.
- The consistency put forth by the No. 7 Acura team helped the manufacturer secure the IWSC Manufacturer's Championship to go along with the title won by the No. 6 Acura team.
"It was obviously a great year for Acura Team Penske. Congratulations to Dane, Juan and Simon on the championship. Both teams were very consistent this year and it was just a product of the work everyone put in. I think we will be even better next year and hopefully we can start it off with a win at Daytona in the Rolex 24."
- Helio Castroneves