On Tuesday afternoon, Team Penske announced the first of their two full-time driver lineups for 2018. Former Verizon IndyCar Series, NASCAR and Formula One racer Juan Pablo Montoya will drive the as of yet unnumbered Acura ARX-05. He will be joined by Dane Cameron, who will make the move to Penske from Action Express Racing.
Team owner Roger Penske stressed his team’s partnership with Acura for how the driver lineup came together.
“We worked together with our partners at Acura Motorsports and Honda Performance Development (HPD) 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,” Penske said. “Having Juan [Pablo Montoya] and Dane [Cameron] 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.”
For Montoya, the decision to join up with the new Penske IMSA program was quite easy.
“I have really enjoyed working with Roger and Team Penske over the last four years. When Roger asked if I’d like to be part of starting this new sports car operation with Acura, it was an easy decision,” Montoya stated. “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.”
Montoya’s stats speak for themselves. Seven career victories in the Formula One World Championship. Two wins in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. 15 wins combined between the Verizon IndyCar Series and CART with a championship as a rookie in 1999. Sports car racing-wise, Montoya’s appearances have been rather sporadic over the years. He has not competed in a sports car race since 2013. In eight career starts in the Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, Montoya has three overall victories. Those victories were all in the Rolex 24 at Daytona as part of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.
For Montoya, racing for Penske is nothing new. It is a familiar atmosphere for the Colombian racer. In Cameron’s case, just getting the call at all is a giant coup.
“Getting a chance to race for Team Penske is like a dream come true for a driver,” Cameron said in the team’s press release. “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 off season and coming out of the gates strong at Daytona.”
Cameron currently drives the Whelen-sponsored No. 31 Cadillac DPi-V.R. for Action Express Racing alongside Eric Curran. So far, the duo sits third in Prototype points with a victory at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park back in July. Cameron and Curran are the defending Prototype champions in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Cameron won the GT Daytona championship solo back in 2014 for Turner Motorsport in a BMW Z4 GT3.
Team Penske will announce the driver lineup for their second full-time car at a later time. The ORECA 07-based Acura ARX-05 will be unveiled Friday as part of Monterey Car Week in California.
About the author
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.