In a surprise announcement made Friday morning, it was revealed that Alexander Rossi will officially compete with Acura Team Penske at the 2019 Rolex 24 and 12 Hours of Sebring. The Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver will moonlight in the IMSA endurance races as part of his affiliation with Honda Performance Development (HPD) and Acura, a relationship that also bred a Baja 1000 entry for the 27-year old.
Rossi will drive the No. 7 Acura ARX-05 DPi alongside Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor, making his series debut in Daytona come January.
“I have watched and raced against Team Penske in IndyCar and I have a lot of respect for the organization and what they do and how they do it,” said Rossi. “I really appreciate Andretti Autosport for allowing me the opportunity to represent Acura in some of the biggest sports car races in the world. I can’t wait to work with Helio and Ricky, to learn from them and hopefully contribute to some wins and a championship for Acura Team Penske.”
The American open-wheel star formerly raced across the pond in GP3 and GP2 before driving for Marussia F1. Following the team's closure, he relocated to the States and won the Indianapolis 500 in his rookie appearance.
As for the No. 6 Acura Team Penske entry, it will be piloted by Dane Cameron, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Simon Pagenaud, the latter being a former IndyCar champion who has consistently driven for the team's IMSA outfit in enduros.
“Alexander will be a great addition to the Acura Team Penske lineup in 2019 and all of us at Acura are very excited about our prospects for the coming season,” said Art St. Cyr, president of HPD. “When you add Alexander to the experienced team of Helio, Ricky, Juan and Dane—and with Simon returning for the endurance events—we are extremely proud of the talented and accomplished Acura Team Penske driver lineup."
Rossi challenged Scott Dixon for the IndyCar championship in 2018, creating a fight that continued until the season finale at Sonoma.