American racing icon Roger Penske has confirmed rumours that he is considering an expansion of his Team Penske racing empire into the V8 Supercars Championship, possibly by as early as 2015.
The 76-year-old is one of the United States’ most powerful businessmen, currently fielding long-running entries in the IndyCar Series and NASCAR championship.
Rumours of Penske’s interest in the championship began to gather pace at last year’s season-ending Sydney 500 championship round, where his right-hand man, tim Cindric, was spotted in the paddock at Sydney Olympic Park as a guest of Ford Performance Racing and Dick Johnson Racing.
Speaking with News Limited, Penske confirmed the rumours that he was looking to expand his racing empire ‘Down Under’.
“We definitely are interested in the V8 Supercar series,” he said.
“It just depends on when we’re in a position. Right now we’re just getting our business settled.
“We think 2015 would be the time that we could be ready.”
A partnership with fellow racing veteran Dick Johnson could be a likely option, but equally, so could the prospect of going it alone with a brand new team. Given that the championship will have a number of Racing Entitlements Contracts up for grabs, Penske could well put in an offer to set up his own team.
His American connections could also prove useful is helping the V8 Supercars Championship return to the United States, following its maiden outing at the Circuit of the Americas during 2013, a deal which was not renewed for the upcoming season.
Penske acts as the promoter for the IndyCar Series’ Detroit Grand Prix, which is held on a temporary street circuit around the Belle Isle parklands.