Indianapolis, Indiana (July 30, 2022)– Juncos Hollinger Racing (JHR) hoped for another strong run in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES return to the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the second time this season. Ilott, who proved to be one of the fastest cars on track throughout the weekend, finished 14th in the Gallagher Grand Prix.
The two-day event on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course located at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway began Friday morning with one 90-minute practice session. Ilott finished the session in 12th.
Three rounds of knock off qualifying kicked off just a few hours later. Ilott, who has qualified in the Top-12 on all road courses this season, with his best qualifying at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway back in May, was placed in the first group for Round 1. Unfortunately, after running well inside the Top-6 during the first half of the session, Ilott was unable to make it out of Round 1 and would settle for the 19th starting position.
Saturday morning the NTT INDYCAR SERIES returned for one 30-minute warm-up session. Ilott came out strong in the No. 77 JHR Chevrolet, finishing sixth quickest overall.
The weekend concluded Saturday afternoon with the Gallagher Grand Prix. Although Ilott would start near the back in 19th, he would work his way forward during the 85-lap race. Only two short cautions came out during the entire race, spreading out the field with less chances of passing. Ilott made three clean pit stops and finished off the day in 14th.
“It was quite a tough race, we ended up 14th after I ran out of fuel crossing the line, so I lost one position,” said Ilott. “During the first half of the race, the track was low grip, and it was really taking a while to get the car to work, and I was struggling to get past other cars. We had good pace in clean air, but I was always stuck behind someone. Once we ended up getting some free air during the last run, we had strong pace and we were catching Pato (O’Ward), but then I had to go into fuel mode and be ecofriendly and try and save it so it was a bit unfortunate. I almost caught him and then I almost didn’t finish. Overall, it was a great result to end with in P14 from P19.”
“This weekend we faced some ups and downs,” said JHR Co-owner and Team Principal Ricardo Juncos. “We are happy because we finished P14, but we know we could have fought for the podium this weekend. We were so fast in practice and qualifying as well, but we just couldn’t put the lap together at the end of qualifying. If you make a small mistake, you pay a big price because everything is so tight here. We had a tough race and a tough position at the beginning, but we were running times as the same as the leader laps, so the pace was there. A fantastic job from Callum once again. We went from being at one-point P22 to finish P14. We ran out of fuel crossing the line, playing the fuel game like so many others. We could have easily finished 13th but lost it by one nose. It’s hard to make it to the front without many yellows in the conditions we were running, so we can be proud of how we finished. We wish though that our result reflected what we can actually do as a team and the pace we have. We learned a lot here as a team with the strategy and communication. We thought we had the fuel to finish to the end, but we didn’t so we have some things we need to learn and that’s part of the process in our growth as a team.”
“Once again thank you to the team, the engineers continue to put together a fast car for Callum,” said Juncos. “I want to thank Callum for his great drive this weekend throughout each session. As a team we are running times as the leaders of the championship, so we have a lot to be proud of especially since we are a one car team, and this is Callum’s rookie season. A huge thank you to all of the sponsors who came here this weekend. We had a great crowd and incredible support from everyone. We will continue to push forward and look forward to finishing off the season strong.”