Juncos Racing Indy Lights line-up completes Chris Griffis Memorial Test
Indianapolis, IN (October 24, 2017) – Juncos Racing carried their strong momentum from winning the 2017 Indy Lights Championship Presented by Cooper Tires into this past weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Mazda Road to Indy Chris Griffis Memorial Test. Juncos Racing drivers included the 2017 Pro Mazda Champion Victor Franzoni who made his first appearance in the Indy Lights Series and posted the third fastest time overall, only 0.0180 seconds off the leader. Nicolas Dapero, Carlos Cunha, and Heamin Choi completed the driver line-up with a strong showing in the final official series test of the year.
Drivers from around the world joined the Mazda Road to Indy ladder series for the two-day test on the 2.439 mile, 14-Turn road course located at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Victor Franzoni (Sao Paulo, Brazil) made his first appereance behind the wheel of the Indy Lights car since winning the 2017 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires with Juncos Racing. Franzoni ran inside the Top-3 for most of the weekend and finished third overall, only 0.0180 seconds off the the leader’s fastest time.
“This weekend was great,” said Franzoni. “My first time in the Indy Lights car worked out really well. It was awesome to be back with Juncos Racing and to learn a lot of new things from them about the Indy Lights car. We had a great results throughout the weekend and finshed less than a tenth off of the leader. I’m really happy and ready to be back in the Indy Lights car again. I hope I can get more seat time in before the season starts!”
Carlos Cunha (Sao Paulo, Brazil) also made his first official apperance in the Indy Lights series, spliting the weekend between the Pro Mazda series (Saturday) and Indy Lights series (Sunday). Cunha posted impressive times throughout the four sessions on Sunday and finished sixth overall with a best time of 1:16.1585.
“I was so happy to get a chance to experiment in the Indy Lights series, which was my prize for finishing third in the Pro Mazda Championship this year,” said Cunha. “It blew my mind, the power, the braking, acceleration, and grip were out of this world and like nothing I have driven before. To be driven properly, the Dallara race car needs full focuse and attention at all times. I loved not only the car, but being able to work with the engineers from Juncos Racing. It was amazing to see how close everyone’s times were to each other, which showed me this is a high level of racing. I felt more comfortable in the car as the day progressed and I was even able to post some decent times for my first day in the car. Thanks to Mazda Road to Indy, Cooper Tires, and Juncos Racing for making this happen. This was an unforgettable weekend and I hope to get this race car more in the future!”
Veteran Nicolas Dapero (Buenos Aires, Argentina) returned to the track for the first time since the end of the 2017 Indy Lights season. Dapero ran only one day (Saturday) of the two-day test to help the team with development of the car for the 2018 season. Dapero will return to Juncos Racing for the 2018 Indy Lights Championship.
“It felt awesome to be back on track,” said Dapero. “I was already missing the car. We did a great job trying different things with the car and we showed strong pace throughout the day. We learned a lot and grew each session which is very positive for me and the team. I am looking forward to being back on track next season!”
Heamin Choi (Busan, Korea) joined Juncos Racing for his first run in the Indy Lights car since the 2016 season. Choi made up a lot of ground throughout the weekend after being absent from the track for the past year.
“I had a very productive weekend with Juncos Racing,” said Choi. “In the last 12 months I have not had any track time. This was also my first time on this road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. My pace wasn’t what I hoped for this weekend, but I am gainig back the comfort of being in the car. Everyone at Juncos Racing shows a lot of passion. They are good motivation and provided me with the tools I needed. I am still working on sponsorship from Korea at this time. I hope to be back next season!”
Team Owner Ricardo Juncos said “We had a great weekend back on track in the Indy Lights series. We had not only new drivers, but some new team members as well. Since the end of the season we have added on to our engineering staff and have moved crew between both teams. After our results this weekend, I think we have made some good choices and moves. All of the drivers did a great job. It was great to have Victor (Franzoni) and Carlos (Cunha) in the car for the first time. They both did an amazing job, especially since they each only had two new sets of tires per day and all other drivers were using three new sets per day. Their times were very competitive in their first outings. Nico (Dapero) helped us with some set ups and trying new things with the car. I am looking forward to a great season with him next year. Heamin (Choi) did a great job after being out of the car for a year. He did a lot of catching up and made some great improvements. I want to thank all of the drivers and their families for giving our team the opportunity to work with them. We look forward to building these relationships in the future.”