Indianapolis, Indiana (September 6, 2018) –Juncos Racing completed their run in the 2018 Indy Lights Championship Presented by Cooper Tires this past weekend at Portland International Raceway. Rookie Victor Franzoni claimed one podium finish taking third in Round 16.

The Streets of St. Petersburg kicked of the 2018 Indy Lights Championship earlier this year. The 2017 Pro Mazda Champion Victor Franzoni (Sao Paulo, Brazil) returned to the team in the No. 23 Soul Red Mazda. Franzoni nearly missed the podium in both rounds in his Indy Lights debut, taking back to back fourth place finishes. The series continued onto Barber where Franzoni would claim his first podium, placing second in Round 4.

The Indy Lights field moved onto the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the month of May with the Grand Prix of Indy and the Freedom 100. Franzoni delivered the team another podium taking third in Round 6. The series continued at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway two weeks later on the famous 2.5-mile oval. Franzoni had an incredible run going battling back and forth for the lead, but a low tire would cause the rookie to pit and no chance of returning to the podium.

Franzoni carried that strong momentum into June at Road America. The young Brazilian earned his first pole and a very emotional win, along with another podium. The Indy Lights field moved onto Iowa Speedway, followed by the streets of Toronto, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and the final oval of the season at Gateway International Raceway.

The Indy Lights Series finale ended at Portland International Raceway. Franzoni returned to the podium, to take third for Round 16 and fifth in Round 17. Heamin Choi driving the No. 7 DongWon car joined the team for the final weekend of the season, finishing eighth in Round 16 and sixth in Round 17.

Franzoni finished his rookie season fifth in the Indy Lights Championship recording one win, one pole, and five podiums.

Franzoni summed up his weekend in Portland and the 2018 Indy Lights Championship by saying, “The season is finished. We ended this year in Portland. Overall the weekend went well for us. I ended up third in the first race and second in the fifth race at Portland. There was a lot of action which we were able to survive. We made a lot of improvements throughout the weekend; the setup was great, and I had great pace. Overall, I am really happy with the year. We finished it on a good note. Even though we would have liked to finish better than this I am still happy with our finish. I learned a lot and it was a great pleasure to work with Juncos Racing for my second year. I am not sure where I will be next year, but I am very busy with those plans and hope to be back on track soon. I would like to thank my team Juncos Racing, Mazda, Cooper Tires, and the Mazda Road to Indy for giving me the opportunity in the Indy Lights car.

Heamin Choi said, “It’s been almost a year since I have been in the Indy Lights car. The last time I was in the car was for one day at the Chris Griffis test. The team did a great job fixing the car in time for me after a crash during practice. Victor (Franzoni) was a great teammate with giving me tips and showing me what I needed to know about the car. Barry (Waddell) and Yancy (Diolatevi) also helped me a lot throughout the weekend and I cannot thank them enough. I am looking forward to getting back on track in the future.”

Juncos Racing Team Owner Ricardo Juncos said, “Overall I am pleased with our 2018 Indy Lights season. Victor (Franzoni) grew a lot as a driver and person. He (Franzoni) faced one of his most challenging years and handled it very well. He was only one of two full time rookies among the highly competitive field and proved to be a top contender. By the second weekend of the season he was already on the podium, and by Road America he earned a pole and went on to get his first win. I am very proud of him and our accomplishments together since he joined in 2017. As I said last year, Victor reminds me a lot of myself. He has to work incredibly hard to be where he is and sacrifice many things. I know he will be successful on and off the track as his career continues to grow. I want to thank Heamin Choi for joining our program for the final race. He worked very hard to get back in the car and it was a pleasure to work with him in Portland. I want to thank the crew for all of their hard work and their families for their support.”

Photo Credit: Photos @ Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography