Mercedes-Benz Penske PC-27B , 1999

The final Mercedes-Benz Penske PC car

Compared with Penske PC 27, the Penske PC 27 B was aerodynamically optimized. The air flows were improved by the front and rear wheels, as well as at the vehicle underbody. The side parts of the rear wing received a gradation on the upper edge of the rear wing element. The overall length of the car has increased by 40 millimeters, to 4,876 millimeters. The PC 27 B was powered by the Mercedes-Benz 108 E IC engine, the very compact precipitated with 466 millimeters in length, a cylinder angle of 76 degrees and about 105 pounds of weight.

Mercedes-Benz Penske PC 27B
Nigel Beresford saying, HERE:

“Attacking all of the problems that Penske-Mercedes PC27 had through 1998 was expensive, and for 1999 Roger decided to pull back to a one car team so that we could concentrate on Al Jr (a situation he loved) and focus on getting ourselves out of the mire. Personally I had to move over to Reading for the first 6 months of the year in order to tie ‘Racing and ‘Cars closer together and oversee technical liaison.

Mercedes-Benz Penske PC27 9 test car 4
At the beginning of 1999 Goodyear acknowledged that they had a problem competing with Firestone. Key engineering and management personnel from all of the Goodyear CART teams attended a meeting at Goodyear world headquarters in Akron, Ohio in January 1999. Goodyear racing personnel gave lectures explaining where they thought they needed to improve in relation to Firestone, and how they planned to do so. Part of the plan was to create new compounding plants which could more quickly create new rubber in small quantities, in order to accelerate the development process. The teams would be expected to have an open book policy at tests so that the collective group could progress more quickly.

Mercedes-Benz Penske PC27 9 test car 3Mercedes-Benz Penske PC27 9 test car 2
Obviously, as stated above, things immediately went wrong when Al broke his leg on the first lap of the first race of the year, so we were on the back foot straight away.

Mercedes-Benz Penske PC27 9 test car 6Mercedes-Benz Penske PC27 9 test car 5
Here is the accident of Al in the first race.

The year was a nightmare, probably the worst in Penske’s history other than 1975, when Mark Donohue was killed. After a few races Roger decided to buy a Lola, because Helio had been going very well in Carl Hogan’s car. However, whilst the Lola was pretty good at developing downforce, it was not very competitive on the superspeedways where low drag was more important, so we reverted to using the PC28 for those races. As mentioned, the only highlights were the brief period Gonzalo was with us, and the sheer relation and surprise when RP announced that he’s signed Greg and Gil. Immediately afterwards they came to the UK with Roger and we visited Lola, Reynard and Ilmor. Part of this process was to impress on them the scale of Roger’s commitment to regaining success, and the other was nominally to decide what type of car we would use in 2000, since it was clear that Roger couldn’t afford to keep on giving Penske Cars the opportunity to build our own cars. The philosophy became one of going to the same tires, cars and engines as had been beating us, so that there were no more excuses for the team. John Travis and I had meetings with Reynard and Lola engineers, but in truth Roger had already decided that Reynard was the way to go. Our experience with Lola in 1999 had been ho-hum, whereas Reynard’s team support and the quality of their manufacturing were considerably better. “

Mercedes-Benz Penske PC27 9 test car 1
The entire 1999 CART season review can be seen here:

I found a single picture on the internet with what was supposed to be a Penske PC with a front engine. Although I believe the picture is not real.

Mercedes-Benz Penske PC28 future car , doubts


Engine type IC 108 E 3
Inlet valves 2 inclined overhead valves per cylinder, actuated via barrel tappets
No. of cylinders / arrangement 8 / 76° V
Outlet valves 2 inclined overhead valves per cylinder, actuated via barrel tappets
Configuration In front of rear axle, longitudinal; vertical
Valve operation 2 overhead camshafts per cylinder bank, gear drive
Combustion principle Four-stroke Otto (with manifold-injection and Garrett turbocharger)
Crankshaft 5-bearing
Bore x Stroke 91 x 50.9 mm
Fuel system Manifold injection, electronically controlled
Total displacement 2650 cc
Compression ratio 12.4
Fuel tank capacity 132.5 l
Maximum / output / rated output over 800 hp
Cooling Water circulation cooling
Lubrication Dry-sump lubrication
Cylinders Light alloy block with Nicasil coated light alloy liners
Cylinder head Light alloy, removable
Ignition Electronically controlled

Chassis and Drivetrain

Foot brake Acting on front- and rear wheels
Wheels Light-alloy wheels, center mounting
Front tires 26.0/9.5 x 15
Frame design Carbon fiber monocoque with integrated roll bar
Rear tires 28.0/14.5 x 15
Front wheel suspension Double wishbone, inboard spring/shock absorber units (operated by push rods)
Drivetrain Direct transmission from engine-transaxle unit to rear wheels
Rear wheel suspension Double wishbone, inboard spring/shock absorber units (operated by push rods)
Brake system Hydraulically actuated


Transmission 6-speed manual transmission in unit with the differential gear
Shifting Sequential manual shift
Transmission type Change-speed gear
Maximum speed over 400 km / h

Dimensions and Weights

Wheelbase 2972 mm
Front track 1730 mm
Rear track 1630 mm
Length 4877 mm
Width 1994 mm
Vehicle weight 703 kg
Engine weight 105 kg
Seats 1