Penske team owner Roger Penske has voiced his plans to have the famous outfit return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Having claimed seemingly every available championship in America and more recently in the Virgin Australian Supercars Championship, Penske has identified a victory in the twice-around-the-clock enduro as one of the team’s few remaining goals.
Penske, who raced himself at Le Mans in the ‘60s and piloted a Ferrari 512M in the team’s last attempt in 1971 says he is open to the possibility of having a full-time return.
“One of the things for us as a team is to be amongst the greatest people we’ve seen in motorsports,” said Penske in an interview with three-time Le Mans winner Allan McNish
“For [anyone] that’s had a chance to be a winner [of Le Mans] and it’s certainly a goal for us.
“We all need goals and I’ve been very fortunate over the years racing with our teams to [win] championships, great wins.
“There’s always that one you want. I think that’s one of the things that Le Mans would mean to us as a team.
“Certainly for me personally. It’s a goal that we want to [achieve].”
The American team already operate a two-car outfit in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship and with the introduction of the LMDh platform over the coming seasons, the opportunity to compete at Le Mans once again has become a more feasible notion.
The LMDh concept will allow for IMSA entries to contest in the World Endurance Championship and at Le Mans alongside the newly launched LM Hypercar project.
Penske says he hopes the shared ruleset across the two championships would allow for a competitive entry as early as 2022, though promoters have suggested that the global pandemic could see the concept delayed even further to allow manufacturers to be able to financially commit to the platform.
“The rules, at least the way they’re announced currently, could give us a chance to come back and maybe compete,” he added.
“It’s not going to be easy. There’s too many people with experience. It’s that domain now and experience of the drivers and how hard to go. It’s about reliability. We have to be ready.
“I’m so glad our guys are finding out how tough it is to run there today.”
The Penske name made a welcome return to Le Mans last weekend in the inaugural virtual 24 Hour event where the Juan Pablo Montoya, Simon Pagenaud, Dane Cameron and Ricky Taylor-driven entry were classified 27th out of the 30-strong LMP2 field.