Car: Penske PC4 / Engine: 900 V8 Ford-Cosworth DFV / Maker: Mercedes / Bore X Stroke: 85.7 X 64.8 mm / Year: 1976 / Capacity: 2,993 cc / Class: Formula 1 / Power: 465 bhp at 10,500 rpm / Wheelbase: 2,692 mm / Track: Front: 1422 mm Rear: 1473 mm / Notes: 620 kg (1,370 lb)
Team Penske entered the Formula One World Championship from 1974 to 1976 out of their British base in Poole. In 1971, Penske had sponsored the second McLaren entry in the Canadian and US GP of that year with American Mark Donohue driving.
The 1974 Canadian GP saw an entry with their own chassis, the PC1, a standard tub built around a Cosworth DFV engine and a Hewland gearbox. Donohue took the car to 12th place on its debut. In 1975, Roger Penske mounted a full season attack with the PC1, Donohue managing to score a fifth place in the Swedish GP. However, the car was retired after the French GP and Penske entered a March 751 for the next three races, scoring another fifth in the British GP. While practicing for Austrian GP, a tire thought to have deflated, pitched his car into the catch fencing and over barrier, killing a marshal, injuring another. His helmet struck one of the fence posts and he was momentarily knocked unconscious but otherwise apparently unharmed, he continued to complain of headaches and later lapsed into unconsciousness, dying two days later in a Graz hospital, despite undergoing emergency brain surgery. Penske missed the Italian race, returning only for the US GP, abandoning the March 751 in favor of the PC1 with Northern Irish driver John Watson.
For 1976, Penske signed a sponsorship deal with Citibank and entered a brand new PC3 for John Watson. In spite of a fifth place scored at the South African GP at Kyalami, the PC3 was evolved into the PC4, which was designed by Geoff Ferris and was much more competitive. , allowing Watson to score two podiums in France and Britain. Then, in the Austrian Grand Prix, the team scored their only F1 win, “forcing” John Watson to shave his trademark beard. An additional point was scored at the United States Grand Prix for a total of 18 points scored with the PC4, and with two points scored with the PC3, the Penske team placed fifth in the Constructor’s Championship. Not a bad result for such a relatively new team
Still, Penske tired of the travel and expense of competing in Europe and without his friend and fellow American Mark Donohue at his side Penske shuttered his Formula 1 team and decided to concentrate solely on Indy Car racing, selling the remains of his European operations to Günther Schmidt of Germany.