Nicolas Dapero will return to Juncos Racing and graduate to the final step of the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires ladder to the Indy Lights Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.
The 18-year-old Argentine driver moves up after a successful rookie season in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. Dapero recorded one win, multiple podium finishes, and earned the fastest lap in the final race of the 2016 season driving for Juncos Racing’s team.
“I am so excited to move up to the Indy Lights series,” Dapero said. “I’m really excited to keep my career going with Juncos Racing. They are more than a team for me, they are like family. We will work harder than ever to be as competitive in each event. I don’t have a doubt that we will be really strong next year. I am really looking forward to a great season and I want to thank all of the people who have made this possible.”
Dapero, who like team principal Ricardo Juncos hails from Buenos Aries, Argentina, began his racing career competing in various karting series throughout Argentina. In 2012, Dapero competed in ROTAX of Buenos Aires, the Florida Winter Tour, and ROTAX Euro Challenge claiming one win and three podiums and took two wins and six podiums in the ROTAX MAX Challenge in Buenos Aires in 2013. The following year, Dapero won the 2014 ROTAX Argentina Championship with three wins, four poles, and eight podiums.
Dapero joined Juncos Racing as a member of its Driver Development program in the winter of 2015, and began to make plans for a program in the Mazda Road to Indy. The Argentinean tested with the team throughout 2015, and made his official debut in the Pro Mazda at the official series test day at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Team principal Ricardo Juncos said is thrilled to have Dapero return to the team and continuing the strong relationship they have built.
“I am extremely happy to announce Nico will be back for another season with Juncos Racing,” Juncos said. “He proved to be a top driver in the 2016 Pro Mazda Championship finishing on the podium multiple times, and even earning his first win at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
“Nico has shown great consistency and always finds a way to improve his skills behind the wheel. I am confident he will have a great rookie season in the Indy Lights and I look forward to helping him improve into the next level of his racing career.”