Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Montoya has found a new home for next season. Coincidentally enough, it is the DragonSpeed team that recently announced they will not be competing in the NTT IndyCar series next season. Montoya will join the team’s LMP2 program for the full-season in the FIA World Endurance Championship, in addition to running Le Mans and the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The Colombian, who is not confirmed for a full-time IMSA DPi drive next year after Acura Team Penske’s three-year agreement came to an end, will co-drive the DragonSpeed Oreca 07 Gibson with Ben Hanley and Henrik Hedman. This year the team ran partial LMP2 programs in the ELMS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and finished 23rd in the Indy 500 this year with Hanley.
In addition to his Indy 500 wins and CART championship, Montoya is one of only three drivers (Mario Andretti and Dan Gurney) to win races in IndyCar, Formula One, and the NASCAR Cup series. Having won the Monaco Grand Prix, Montoya only needs a 24 Hours of Le Mans victory to complete auto racing’s “Triple Crown” that only Graham Hill has achieved. Montoya raced with the DragonSpeed USA entry at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans in September, finishing 49th.
In addition to the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the other five races in the WEC schedule, DragonSpeed is returning to the Rolex 24 at Daytona to run for an LMP2 class victory in the race where Montoya has three overall victories with Chip Ganassi Racing. Ganassi just announced that they will be returning to the IMSA series, in the DPi division.
“I’m really excited to be joining DragonSpeed for the full WEC season,” Montoya said. “I had an amazing experience with them this year at Le Mans and I’m looking forward to racing again at so many classic venues with such a great group of people.”
10Star DragonSpeed team principal Elton Julian added, “I’m super pleased to make this announcement well in advance of next season. Our fantastic crew has stuck together through an incredibly challenging year, and are hungrier than ever to deliver for Henrik and his co-drivers. Having Henrik and Ben together again while adding Juan’s ultra-gifted and experienced hands to the equation gives me tremendous confidence in our potential not only to fight for our class titles but also feature high up in the overall results as the new top-class finds its feet.”
Montoya becomes the third of four Acura Team Penske drivers to confirm their future plans. Helio Castroneves (six races in IndyCar) and Dane Cameron (Acura DPi in IMSA) are joining Meyer Shank Racing next season. While it is not official yet, Ricky Taylor is expected to return to Wayne Taylor Racing, which is taking one of Penske’s Acura slots in 2021.
Hedman is looking forward to working with Montoya. “It’s an honor to welcome Juan to the squad. We have a lot to look forward to having seen his contributions on and off track at Le Mans this year. I couldn’t be more excited to continue with DragonSpeed and return to the WEC in 2021.” Hanley added, “It’s great to be able to commit to the program early, which will allow plenty of time to tune ourselves into next year’s new tires and engine changes. With Juan on board and Henrik’s terrific performances in 2020, everything is in place for a successful season.”
The WEC season will begin March 19 at Sebring International Raceway, where Montoya finished second overall with Dane Cameron and Simon Pagenaud in his final race with Team Penske last weekend.