Alfonso Celis Jr.’s first Verizon IndyCar Series race weekend is complete after finishing 20th in the Kohler Grand Prix at Road America.
Mexican native Alfonso Celis Jr. made his official Verizon IndyCar Series debut in the No. 32 Chevrolet / Juncos Racing car, also shared by Kyle Kaiser and Rene Binder. The 21-year-old had a tough start to the weekend after making contact early in the second practice session on Friday. Celis and the team recovered for qualifying the following day, taking the 21st starting position.
The second longest race of the year, next to the Indianapolis 500, saw near perfect conditions on Sunday. Fans were treated with a caution free 55-lap race on the 4.014 mile, 14-Turn road course. After the green flag waved, Celis had slight contact going into Turn-1, causing damage to the front wing. The crew replaced the front wing on the first pit stop 15 laps later. The team completed two more flawless pit stops and Celis finished the race in 20th.
Celis (Mexico City, Mexico) said, “I finally have my first race under my belt. It was a lot of learning and a lot to take in. It was important to finish no matter what, so that’s good. I made some mistakes during the race. I had contact in Turn-1 at the start of the race, so we had to replace the front wing during the first pit stop. I am happy to finish the race and look forward to moving on from here.”
Team Principle Ricardo Juncos said, “We had a successful weekend here at Road America despite our result. Alfonso (Celis Jr.) was able to provide the team with valuable feedback throughout each session. Each time he went out on track he improved in multiple ways. I know he will be successful with the attitude and work ethic he has on understanding the car inside and out. I hope we are able to add more races with Alfonso in the future. The crew and Alfonso bonded really well in a short time. I want to thank Alfonso and his family for the opportunity to work with him in his first run in the Verizon IndyCar Series.”