Roger Penske

Birthday : February 20 1937

Biography Roger Penske

Roger Penske was born February 20 1937 in Shaker Heights (Ohio, USA) . His father had a management job at a metal fabrication company. He used to encourage Roger Penske to become an entrepreneur. As a teenager Roger Penske started buying cars to sell them with a profit. This may be seen as an early start of this emporium.

Some of the cars bought by Roger Penske were broken race cars. He repaired them and started racing them. Both his early car business and his race career were quite successful. His first professional race appearance was at the Marlboro Motor Raceway in Maryland.  He even competed in 2 F1 races  and won a Nascar race at Riverside, California in 1963. In 1965 Roger Penske retired from racing and concentrated on his Chevrolet dealership in Philadelphia.

The retirement of Roger Penske meant the start of the Penske Racing Team. It debuted at the 1966 Daytona 24H with a Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.  The car finished 12th overall, not a bad result for a debut. In 1972 Mark Donohue  won the Indianapolis 500 for Penske Racing at the wheel of a McLaren M16B. That same year, Penske Racing  runs the factory Porsche 917-10 in the Can-Am Series and George Follmer wins the championship after Donohue is injured in a testing accident. One year later is Mark Donohue clearly fully recovered as he dominates the Can-Am Series en route to that circuit’s championship in the updated Porsche 917-30.

American Le Mans Series

In 2005, Porsche set the stage to make a comeback in sports car racing in the United States and chose Penske Racing to run in the LMP2 class of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). The Penske Porsches took center stage in 2006, winning immediately, including victories at Mid-Ohio finishing 1-2 ahead of Audi (competing in a higher classification) and the annual Petit Le Mans, a 10-hour showcase event held at Road Atlanta. His team scored an overall victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2008.

As soon as 2009, Penske Racing suspended participation in the ALMS. They moved into ALMS’s rival Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series for the full season with a Porsche-powered Riley with Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas at the wheel.

Racing Awards

 Roger Penske meant a lot to the American Race scene, both by his personal results as with the results by the Penske Racing Team he founded in 1966 after his personal race retirement. As a result he has been awarded with some of the most important racing awards in the USA including
  • Induction in the Motorsport Hall of Fame of America in 1995.
  • Roger Penske’s induction the the International Motorsports Hall of fame in 1998.
  • Induction in the Automotive Hall of Fame at the Renaissance centre in Detroit.
  • Inauguration into the Wall of Fame at the Sonoma Raceway in 2015