The strength of Porsche in racing has been steady for nearly 50 years. Highlights of the sensational Porsche racing heritage along with some Penske Racing history are documented in this timeline.
Early Days - 1969
Roger Penske- Early Days
Businessman, racer, visionary, Roger S. Penske is all three. A native of Shaker Heights, Ohio, Penske began racing at the age of 19 while he was studying Industrial Management at the prestigious Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. After driving a Corvette at the Marlboro Driving School in Virginia and amateur road races, he bought a Porsche RS for competition in SCCA events and quickly made his name.
Roger Penske drives his first official race in the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) National in Maryland
The Porsche RS61 driven by Bob Holbert and Roger Penske for Hubert Brundage/Brumos Racing of Jacksonville, finishes 5th overall at the 12 Hours of Sebring race and first in the sports class under 1600 cc, completing 199 laps. The only cars that finished ahead of it were Ferraris.
Penske wins Sports Illustrated magazine's "SCCA Driver of the Year" award.
Penske wins the Riverside California Grand Prix and Pacific Grand Prix at Laguna Seca, California, two of the most prestigious sports car races in the world
During the Bahamas Speed Week of 1964, Penske wins the Nassau Tourist Trophy, beating out some of the top drivers, while his win in the Governor's Trophy race establishes his reputation as one of the world's best racers.
Penske announces his retirement from a successful driving career to concentrate on his growing business interests. During this year, Penske purchases a Chevrolet dealership in Philadelphia.
Not willing to get out of racing entirely, Penske forms Penske Racing and Team Penske and continues to build his racing team with driver Mark Donahue.
Penske Racing campaigns a Lola T-70 sports car for Mark Donohue in the SCCA Can-Am (Canadian-American Challenge Cup) and USRRC road racing series. Donohue earns the team's first major victory in the USRRC round at Kent Pacific Raceway and also wins the Can-Am round at Mosport.
Donohue wins the USRRC championship with six victories in seven starts and records five podium finishes in 12 Can-Am events.
Penske Racing enters the SCCA Trans-Am Series and Donohue takes the team's first victory, driving a Chevrolet Camaro at Marlboro Park.
Donohue wins 10 of 13 races in route to the Trans-Am championship and repeats as USRRC champion with five victories in eight starts.
Penske Racing makes its USAC Championship Racing debut, entering two road racing events – Mosport and the Rex Mays 300.
Penske fields a two-car Trans-Am effort for the first time with Ed Leslie and Ron Bucknum sharing racing duties alongside Donohue, as he takes his second straight series championship.
Donohue finishes seventh in Penske Racing's Indianapolis 500 debut and is named "Rookie of the Year."
In this same year, Fred Baker, a fledgling mechanic given a job by Chuck Stoddard of Stoddard Imported Cars in Willoughby, Ohio, opens his own dealership. A dedicated mechanic, racer, philanthropist and community activist, he goes on to grow his dealership and in 2011 sells his interests to Penske.
1970 - 1989
Penske and Donohue help develop the turbocharged version of the Porsche 917.
Porsche announces it will hire Penske to run its 917 in the prestigious Can-Am series. It was this relationship, and the corresponding Penske Porsche success, that left a lasting imprint on American road racing history.
Penske Racing makes its Formula One debut with Donohue in the Canadian Grand Prix. Donohue makes an impressive debut with a third-place finish driving the Penske-run McLaren M19 in the rain at Mosport.
Donohue captures Penske Racing's first Indianapolis 500 victory in a McLaren Offenhauser.
Penske makes his NASCAR debut at Riverside, California, with Donohue driving an AMC Matador.
Penske 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.
Donohue records Penske's first NASCAR victory at Riverside in the Winston Western 500. Donohue captures the inaugural International Race of Champions all-star series title, and dominates the Can-Am Series in route to the circuit's championship in the updated Porsche 917-30.
Penske Racing's PC-1 Formula One car makes its debut with Donohue driving in the Canadian Grand Prix.
Brian Redman takes the Penske 917/30 to a second place finish behind the Shadow Chevrolet of Jackie Oliver at Mid-Ohio.
During this year, Chuck Stoddard makes a significant decision to purchase all available Porsche 356 parts from around the world and expand his mail order business worldwide.
Donohue sets the World Closed Course Speed Record – 221.160 mph – at Talladega in the Porsche 917-30. One week later Donohue is fatally injured in a March 751 Formula One car while practicing for the Austrian Grand Prix.
With Stoddard's parts business flourishing, he partners with Porsche AG and begins remanufacturing various Porsche chassis and trim parts for older models, as well as engines and transmissions. The Stoddard parts catalog has been widely distributed over the past 35 years.
Penske Racing scores its first 1-2-3 finish in the California 500 at Ontario.
Fred Baker drove the Porsche 924 to victory at the Nelson Ledges 24-hour race
Driving a Porsche 944, Baker was again victorious at the Nelson Ledges race
After 28 years, Stoddard's SIC parts business is purchased by Porsche AG in order to facilitate significant expansion of the business, which was now world renowned. At this time, SIC becomes the go-to provider for all late model Porsche parts, including those for the 356, 911 and 912 through 1973 models, the 914, and all non-current racing cars.
Baker scored another victory at the Nelson Ledges race, driving a Prototype 944 Turbo
Penske begins Ilmor Engineering with Paul Morgan and Mario Illien and the team begins to develop the Ilmor Chevy Indy engine.
1986 and 87'
Baker was the SCCA SSGT National Champion in the Porsche 944 Turbo
1990 - 2004
With Penske's Indy car program continuing its remarkable production, with drivers like Emerson Fittipaldi, Al Unser Jr. and Paul Tracy, the team's NASCAR squad begins to develop a winning formula.
Penske Racing South is created and Penske re-enters NASCAR with driver Rusty Wallace and sponsor Miller Brewing Company. Wallace wins the IROC championship.
Hans J. Wichter becomes president of SIC after having been its Service Manager for 15 years. Wichter maintains the SIC name and vision of Stoddard by continuing the 48 year old tradition of making the service and parts department the backbone of the company.
Due to the split between CART and the Indy Racing League, this is the first year that Penske Racing does not enter a car in the Indianapolis 500 since its first entry in 1969.
Baker was the SCCA T1 National Champion in the Porsche 996 C2
Team Penske first competes in the Indy Racing League and joins the series full time the following season. Penske Racing flourishes as a full time, three-car NASCAR operation with Wallace, Jeremy Mayfield and Ryan Newman leading the way on the track.
SIC ownership returns to the USA through the efforts of Bruce Schwartz.
2005 - Today
Porsche sets the stage to make a comeback in sports car racing in the United States and chooses Penske Racing to run in the LMP2 class of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).
The Porsche RS Spyder makes its successful debut at the ALMS season final race at Laguna Seca. The "Porsche Junioren" factory drivers Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr, finish 1st in LMP2 Class and 5th Overall in the 4 Hour Endurance Race.
The Penske Porsches take center stage 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.
Penske Motorsports fields two LMP2 Porsche RS Spyders in the American Le Mans Series. The Penske cars combined to win seven class victories and the overall win at Mid-Ohio.
Penske Racing wins the LMP2 team championship.
Penske Motorsports fields two LMP2 Porsche RS Spyder Evos in the American Le Mans Series. Penske's two cars combined for eleven class victories and eight overall victories during the twelve race season.
Penske wins the LMP2 team championship.
Penske starts out the season with an overall win in the 12 Hours of Sebring. This is Porsche's first overall win in the race since 1988 in a Porsche 962.
The #6 and #7 ALMS teams are used for Penske's #12 Indycar, driven by Will Power in 5 races.
The team announces in late 2009 that the ALMS teams will be dissolved and turned into the new #12 Verizon sponsored IndyCar for Will Power to run full-time in 2010.
In his first year with the team, Brad Keselowski captures Penske Racing's first NASCAR championship as he earns the Nationwide Series crown behind five wins, six poles a record 26 top-five finishes.
Will Power paces the IZOD IndyCar Series with six wins and eight poles. After winning his second straight Mario Andretti Road Course title, Power once again finishes second in a close battle for the overall series crown.
Penske Racing secures its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship as driver Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite team capture the title with five wins and a remarkably consistent Chase for the Championship.
In IZOD IndyCar Series, Team Penske also battles for the title as the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske squad and driver Will Power come up just three points shy of the championship.