Juncos still eyes full-time Verizon IndyCar Series program in 2018

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The focus and passion of Ricardo Juncos is immeasurable.

In the midst of a banner year which saw Juncos Racing win a pair of Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires driver’s titles – in Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires and the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires – there was also the accomplishment of the team making its Verizon IndyCar Series debut in May at the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented PennGrade Motor Oil.

The inauguration to North America’s premier open-wheel racing series was met with promise when drivers Sebastian Saavedra and Spencer Pigot finished a respectable 15th and 18th, respectively.

Buoyed by the success in the development ladder sanctioned by INDYCAR this year, Juncos has his sights set on a full-time effort in the Verizon IndyCar Series next season.

“I want to be a full-time two-car (Verizon IndyCar Series) team, but that will depend on many factors,” Juncos said. “At the moment, we are focused on the marketing side and trying to finalize sponsors, so then we will see if we can run two cars or only one.”

Focused and intense, Juncos’ passion for the success is what continues to drive the team forward.

For 2018, the plan beyond the Verizon IndyCar Series is to field a three-car operation in Pro Mazda, the second rung of the MRTI ladder that is introducing the Tatuus PM-18 in 2018. The plan is to continue with this year’s Pro Mazda champion, Victor Franzoni, as he graduates to Indy Lights with a Mazda scholarship worth nearly $800,000. Franzoni is expected to race alongside Nicolas Dapero, as the duo continue to progress in Juncos Racing’s driver development program.

Drivers who have gone through the program include Pigot, the 2014 Pro Mazda and 2015 Indy Lights champion who will drive a full-time Verizon IndyCar Series entry with Ed Carpenter Racing in 2018, and Conor Daly, the 2010 Pro Mazda champ who just completed the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season with AJ Foyt Racing.

The list of Juncos Racing MRTI champions advancing to the Verizon IndyCar Series will grow in 2018. Kyle Kaiser captured this year’s Indy Lights title and the accompanying $1 million Mazda scholarship that guarantees a ride in at least three Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2018, including the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

While many teams are likely interested in the 21-year-old Californian’s services, team owner Juncos is open to the idea of Kaiser returning to the team he’s called home the last four years and attacking the Verizon IndyCar Series dream together.

“Of course, the door is always open to him,” Juncos said. “He is a part of this Juncos Racing family. I know he will have other options as well, so I only want to wish him the best.

“I have no doubt he has a bright future in INDYCAR and we can only hope we can be a part of it at Juncos Racing.” 

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