Throwback Thursday livery day

January 10, 2019

Throwback Thursday livery day

January 10, 2019

Mark Thursday, January 10 as the day when IMSA took “Throwback Thursday” quite literally. Two championship-winning programs have tapped into the past as part of IMSA’s 50th year celebration.

Both Acura Team Penske and Ford Chip Ganassi Racing have revealed retro liveries that hail past glory for their respective manufacturers.

ACURA’S RETURN TO THE 1990s

2019 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 Prototypes. Photo: Acura

In Acura’s case, the company highlights its success in the early 1990s. Both Acura ARX-05s will sport an updated take first seen on the 1991-93 Camel Lights champion Comptech Racing Spice Acura NSXs.

“This is a natural look for Acura prototypes, and a salute to our heritage as a performance brand,” said Dave Marek, Acura’s Executive Creative Director.

Parker Johnstone in the Spice Acura at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion 2015. Photo: Acura

“The Acura brand was founded in 1986, and its debut in motorsports soon followed. Today, we’re proud to unveil a livery that accurately reflects our long, successful history in North American racing. We look forward to adding new chapters to the story of Acura Precision Crafted Performance.”

Acura will run these liveries for the two Penske prototypes for the rest of the 2019 season. Dane Cameron, Juan Pablo Montoya, Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves race all season. Simon Pagenaud returns alongside Cameron and Montoya in the No. 6 car at Daytona and Sebring. Meanwhile Alexander Rossi joins the No. 7 car lineup with Taylor and Castroneves at Daytona and Sebring.

FORD’S SPECIAL GTs

The pair of updated Ford GTs. Photo: Ford Performance

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing has run a standard red, white and blue livery on its Ford GTs since the car’s 2016 debut. However, they’ll switch it up for the Rolex 24 at Daytona only.

Ford highlights Motorcraft (No. 66) and Castrol (No. 67) on the two cars. The No. 66 car pays homage to a Motorcraft Mustang that scored a GTO victory at the 1985 Rolex 24. Meanwhile the No. 67 car pays tribute to Castrol’s corporate colors in a green, white and red mix.

The Ford Ganassi team enters this year’s Rolex 24 on the heels of a dominant 2018. Between the two cars, they led all but nine laps in the GT Le Mans class, and scored a 1-2 finish. Richard Westbrook, Ryan Briscoe and Scott Dixon are in search of a repeat.

“I’m really excited and proud that Ford is doing something to celebrate the 50th anniversary of IMSA,” Westbrook said. “Ford and Castrol had a lot of successful history in those years. So for the two to come together and do something as eye-catching as these new liveries, I’m going to be really proud driving that car.

“I’ve seen enough footage of cars in that livery going around Daytona before the bus stop chicane was put in, which was a very iconic period of IMSA racing. So to be in an iconic car in that livery trying to defend our title will be something really special.”

THEY’RE NOT ALONE

No. 33 Riley-Team AMG Mercedes-AMG GT3. Photo: Michelin North America

Acura and Ford’s liveries are not the only ones expected for this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Riley Motorsports and Ben Keating revealed its throwback on its No. 33 Mercedes-AMG GT3 at the ROAR test. To celebrate Wynn’s automotive products’ 80th year, that car will run in a striking white, purple and orange scheme for 2019. Wynn’s IMSA cars were prominent in the 1980s on Hotchkis Racing Porsche 962s.

Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen are in for the season. Felipe Fraga joins for the Michelin Endurance Cup and Luca Stolz is the fourth driver at Daytona.

“We are incredibly excited to help Wynn’s celebrate its 80th year while also supporting the 50th Anniversary IMSA season,” Keating said. “As an automobile dealer, I have been familiar with Wynn’s and its fine products for years.

“But as a race car driver and sports car racing fan, I also have great memories of the cool Wynn’s GTP cars from a few decades ago. We look forward to racing and winning with Wynn’s this year and adding to the company’s accomplished history and IMSA legacy.”

Other liveries may come as well from other teams and marques within the IMSA paddock.

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