Long Beach, California (April 20, 2015) – Juncos Racing continued their successful run in the 2015 Indy Lights Championship Presented by Cooper Tires in their first appearance on the 1.968 mile, 11-Turn course located on the Streets of Long Beach this past weekend. Rookie Spencer Pigot delivered the team their third podium of the season taking second in the Grand Prix of Long Beach Presented by Allied Building Products. After three races the team currently sits second in the Indy Lights Championship.
Juncos Racing started off the weekend strong with rookies Spencer Pigot (Orlando, Florida) and Kyle Kaiser (Santa Clara, California), who each made their first appearance on the Streets of Long Beach, finishing inside the Top-3 of both practice sessions. The team continued their success in qualifying after a tight battle for the pole with Pigot taking the second position and Kaiser qualifying third.
The weekend concluded on the Streets of Long Beach with an action packed Round 3 of the Indy Lights Championship. When the green flag waved for the 42 lap race, multiple drivers went into battle for the lead in Turn-1 causing Kaiser, driving the #18 InterVision/NetApp/JuniperNetworks car, to make contact with the car in front of him, retiring out of the race without completing a lap. Teammate Pigot, driving the #12 MAZDASPEED scholarship car, narrowly avoided the first lap incident and was pushed back in the field to fifth. After 21 laps, Pigot made three impressive passes to move into second, and then went on to battle for the win. Pigot stalked Ed Jones in the #11 Carlin car and made several attempts to take the lead in the last half of the race, but had to settle for the second 0.613 seconds behind Jones.
Pigot’s second place finish marked his third podium in three races and moves into second in the Indy Lights Championship.
“I’m happy to be back on the podium this weekend,” said Pigot. “We’ve worked hard and made a lot of improvements since St. Pete so I have to thank Juncos Racing for that. I had to avoid a crash at the start which forced me back to fifth, but I was able to fight my way back. We definitely had the pace to win today so that’s good for our confidence. I want to thank Mazda, Mockett, Rising Star Racing, The Stutz, MOB and BAD for all of their support.”
Kaiser who continued to show great pace behind the wheel of the Mazda powered Dallara IL-15 during practice and qualifying, was disappointed to end his weekend early due contact on the first lap.
“The race weekend as a whole had many positives despite ending so poorly,” said Kaiser. “The team and I had worked extremely hard to arrive at Long Beach with competitive cars that could challenge for the win, and our pace was always within the Top-3. I’m disappointed that I made a mistake that ended what could’ve been a great race for the team, but it’s a long season and I know the team will continue to work as hard as I will to improve and fight for podiums and wins this year. I’m fortunate the turnaround for Barber will be so quick so I have an opportunity to display that this weekend.”
Juncos Racing Team Owner, Ricardo Juncos, was pleased with the team’s improvements since the first race weekend of the year, along with recording another podium finish, and looks forward to continuing their success at Barber Motorsports Park this week.
“Our goal going into the weekend was to take the fight to the two cars ahead of us,” said Juncos. “Our technical team has been working flat out and I believe we came to Long Beach with an incredibly strong car. We demonstrated that both in qualifying and in the race. Unfortunately, the race start was less than ideal, however I commend both drivers for really going for it. It shows how badly everyone at Juncos Racing wants that first victory. Spencer (Pigot) drove what I believe to be one of the best races he has ever driven for us.”
The 2015 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires continues April 23-25th on the 2.3 mile, 17-Turn road course at Barber Motorsports Park located in Birmingham, Alabama. For more information please visit juncosracing.com and indylights.com.