Long Beach, California (September 26, 2021) – After a strong start to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season finale at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, rookie Callum Ilott was forced to retire the No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet midway through the race due to mechanical issues.
Juncos Hollinger Racing was looking for a solid finish to the season after Saturday’s qualifying run. Ilott qualified 18th, the best for the team since returning to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES for the final three races of the 2021 season.
The 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season ended Sunday with 85-laps around the 1.986-mile temporary street course located in downtown Long Beach, California. Ilott, who started 18th, was able to survive an incident in the first lap when multiple cars became jammed up, causing a yellow flag for the first few laps. Once the race went green Ilott and the team worked off a different pit strategy than most of the field, putting them up to as high as sixth. Juncos Hollinger Racing completed one pit stop before their day was cut short on lap 47 due to a mechanical issue. Although Ilott was not able to complete all of the laps, he showed great pace, giving the team strong momentum heading into the off-season. Ilott will return to Juncos Hollinger Racing for a full-time run in the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES.
“It was unfortunate for us to end the race early due to a mechanical issue we couldn’t solve,” said Ilott. “Otherwise, we were having a really strong race until I started to feel the issue take place. I am happy with the progress we made throughout these three weekends. Everything has been going really well and I am pleased with what we were able to accomplish in a short time. It was unfortunate to finish our final of three races this way, but we will look forward to the off-season and begin our work for our 2022 run”.
Juncos Hollinger Racing Team Owner Ricardo Juncos said, “Over the past three weekends we have accomplished many things as a team. We knew coming into these races we were up against a lot, but we wanted this time to work on preparing for the 2022 season. Callum has done an excellent job since he first went on track with us at the beginning of the month. He is very fast and has incredible feedback that has helped us get better each session. I am really looking forward to building this program over the next few months as we prepare for our first full-time run since joining the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.”
Juncos Hollinger Co-Team Owner Brad Hollinger said, “Today we experienced racing’s highs and lows. We had a good start to the race and had a really good pace going into the first round of pit stops. However, we had a slight error going into the turn and that resulted in a spin that set us back fairly meaningfully as the car stalled. From there, we were on a back foot for the rest of the race until we experienced a mechanical error that caused us to have to retire”.
Hollinger continued, “The last three races this year were to prepare us for next season. We have now developed a solid baseline performance-wise and we will be ready to go for 2022. I feel really pleased about the results we have so far, and I feel going into next year things look promising. We will be ready in an organizational sense as well as have the resources we need to propel us forward into the 2022 season. Callum has demonstrated he is very quick and is a skilled communicator as a driver. He continues to prove that he is a legitimate driver and a team player as well as a gentleman on and off the track”.