Roger Penske Mentions Audi Drivers Bernhard, Dumas and Rockenfeller When Asked About Interest in Le Mans with Porsche
byon 07-11-2011 at 11:54 AM (4205 Views)
Motorsport mogul Roger Penske made an appearance on this week's 'Wind Tunnel' with Dave Despain. The Speed commentator asked Roger any number of questions covering NASCAR, Indycar and more, though it was his comments about Le Mans that grabbed our interest. Of course Penske was the team owner behind the factory Porsche RS Spyder campaign in the ALMS for which current Audi drivers Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas raced, and when asked about the recent announcement by Porsche that they would return to La Sarthe with a prototype effort by 2014, Mr. Penske said he was most interested. And, while he claimed they'd not had much in the way of talks yet, he'd mentioned that he'd love to return to Le Mans and vie for an all-out win. Further, he even mentioned Bernhard, Dumas and teammate Mike Rockenfeller by name, suggesting that would be his preferred driver lineup.
When Porsche made their announcement weeks ago just ahead of the ILMC round at Imola, they seemed to catch everyone off guard. Word around the paddock was that even the Audi Sport staff were surprised by the move. In as much, it will be interesting to see where this all leads. Could Porsche displace Audi in sportscar racing? Might Audi share development of its next-generation R18 replacement in more of a partnership role with Porsche... maybe running diesel in the Audi and petrol or petrol hybrid in the Porsche? It remains to be seen, so we'll be watching developments curiously.