Team Penske has chosen to end the 2022 season early in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans will be the final race for the team in the LMP2 category. Their participation has been meant as a preparation for 2023, where the team will run in the Hypercar category with their brand new Porsche LMDh car. Team Penske was chosen as a partner very early in the project, and they are going to run the cars in both the FIA WEC and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The team previously ran the Porsche RS Spyder cars in the American Le Mans Series.
Team Penske made their FIA WEC debut at Sebring in March 2022, where Dane Cameron and Felipe Nasr share the car with Emmanuel Collard. Collard is a Silver ranked driver due to his age, and a Silver driver is demanded in the LMP2 category. Collard has been Porsche’s works driver in the past, so that was why he was called up in December last year, much to his own surprise.
The rest of 2022 will be focused on more testing with the Porsche LMDh car, which probably will make its FIA WEC race debut later this year. The FIA and ACO have opened up for them to participate in the Hypercar category early, but without scoring points in the Championship, since the car hasn’t got its final homologation – but at least they will be able to get some race miles on the chassis and engine prior to 2023, and the ACO will get some data on the car, for their BOP calculation.
It is however disappointing that a team is pulling out mid-season. Several teams were hoping to participate in the full FIA WEC, but didn’t get an entry due to a massive list with 39 cars. Team Peugeot TotalEnergies chose to skip the first three races, prior to their race debut at Monza. GR Racing Porsche #86 skipped the Sebring round due to business reasons. Mike Wainwright is in the energy and metal markets, which took a huge shakeup due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. So none of the 2022 races will have all entrants entered at some point during the season.
The next round of the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship is the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 11-12 June.