JUNCOS RACING LOOKING FORWARD TO FIRST INDY 500
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – May 26, 2017 – Juncos Racing will be making its Indianapolis 500 debut this Sunday, May 28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.
The team will have two entries in the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500. The No. 11 Juncos Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone car driven by Spencer Pigot with sponsorship from Oceanfront Recovery through Rising Star Racing, P1 Management and Temple Fort Outfitters. The second entry is the No. 17 AFS/Juncos Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone car driven by Sebastian Saavedra.
“Two months ago, we didn’t know each other and now we have a group of people working really hard together and we are doing it at the Indianapolis 500…that’s pretty special,”,” said Juncos Racing owner Ricardo Juncos. “There were so many questions back then that had no clear answers, but, now it’s all good. I’m really happy to be running with Sebastian (Saavedra) and Spencer (Pigot). They both like the team. We obviously have a long way to go as far as being consistently competitive and we know this is going to be a long, difficult race. We’re going to take it step-by-step and do our best. At this point, I honestly don’t care where we place in the race. I have no great expectations. I just want both cars to finish the race.”
Pigot, who qualified 29th for the 2017 Indianapolis 500, ran 24 laps during Carburation Day’s final practice turning a fast lap of 40.5896 seconds/221.732 mph on lap eight. He was 31st on the speed charts.
“We’re still looking for some speed,” Pigot said. “We need to keep working on the balance and trying to get it just right in traffic which is very difficult, but I think we made a little bit of progress today. Obviously, we have more to go so we’ll be studying a lot over the next few days and try to make some good changes for the race. As far as expectations for the race, we just want to hopefully start marching our way up the field a little bit. We want to finish the race and hopefully the last 30 laps we can find ourselves somewhere around the top 10 we’ll see what we have.”
Saavedra, who qualified 31st for Sunday’s race, turned 31 laps today posting his fast time of 40.6878 seconds/221.197 mph on lap 23 placing him 33rd on the speed charts.
“The No. 17 AFS/Juncos Racing car feels like it took a little bit to get back to where we were Tuesday,” Saavedra said. “I don’t know what happened these last four days. However, we ended the session in a very positive way and getting back to a very comfortable stage. We shall see what’s going to happen Sunday of course. The weather is going to change on us, but so far I feel very good with traffic and there’s going to be plenty of that throughout the race. We’re just going to continue looking through the data from today and go from there.”
The 2017 Indy 500 will be Pigot’s 15th career Verizon IndyCar Series start, second Indianapolis 500, second on an oval and first with Juncos Racing. The 23-year-old from Orlando, Florida made his Indy 500 debut with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing last year qualifying 29th and finishing 25th. Pigot is contesting his second Verizon IndyCar Series season. He made three starts for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in 2016 and seven for Ed Carpenter Racing. Pigot has made four starts for Ed Carpenter Racing in 2017 all on road or street courses and is scheduled to run the remaining road and street events for the team. In 14 career IndyCar starts, Pigot has earned four top-10 finishes with a best showing of seventh at Mid-Ohio in 2016 (ninth at Road America in 2016, eighth at Long Beach, 2017 and ninth in the Indy Grand Prix, 2017).
The 2017 Indy 500 will be Saavedra’s 62nd career Verizon IndyCar Series start, first with AFS/Juncos Racing and sixth at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It will be his first Verizon IndyCar Series start since the Grand Prix of Sonoma in 2015. In five previous Indy 500 races the 26-year-old from Bogota, Colombia, who resides in Indianapolis, has a best qualifying position of 24th in 2012 and a best finish of 15th in 2014. Saavedra is contesting his sixth Verizon IndyCar Series season and first with AFS/Juncos Racing. In 61 career IndyCar starts, Saavedra has earned four top-10 finishes and one pole (at the inaugural Indy Grand Prix in 2014). His best finish is eighth in 2013 at Baltimore (Ninth Long Beach – 2014; 10th Detroit – 2013 and Long Beach – 2015);