Indianapolis, Indiana March 3, 2023 – Juncos Hollinger Racing (JHR) will get its 2023 racing campaign underway at the St. Petersburg street circuit in Florida this weekend.
The rejuvenated squad, which is racing with a new mission statement – The Power of Possibility – will field two cars in the headline NTT INDYCAR SERIES for Britain’s Callum Ilott and Argentine rookie Agustín Canapino. It will also return to the INDY NXT by Firestone category (formerly Indy Lights) with rising stars Matteo Nannini and Reece Gold.
Both sets of drivers have completed a rigorous pre-season testing programme and are now ready to put that experience into practice at the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this weekend.
INDYCAR and INDYNXT qualifying will take place Saturday, before racing on the bumpy and demanding, 14-turn street circuit gets underway on Sunday (March 5). The INDYCAR race will go green at midday (Eastern) and drivers will cover a 100-lap distance, while the INDYNXT battle will start slightly earlier at 09.50 and last for 45 laps.
Callum Ilott, driver of the #77 JHR Dallara-Chevrolet said:
“Testing was promising and positive. I think we’ve made a few small gains compared to last year and that’s made a difference. I feel in a good position and more comfortable and confident with the car. Having been a rookie last year, I’m coming into the new season understanding the process of the race weekend and with a good idea of the strong and weak points of our car. That makes it easier to prepare for what’s to come.
“Looking at St. Pete, qualifying will give us a good idea of the pace we have out of the box and what’s possible. If we put the qualifying together, we should be on for a good race. I’ll be pushing for the top-ten straight away – and maybe even more. We’ll see.”
Agustín Canapino, driver of the #78 JHR Dallara-Chevrolet said:
“I think the team is doing very well after very good pre-season sessions at Thermal and Sebring. Personally, I will go into this weekend’s first race with the same philosophy I had during testing: to go step-by-step and learn. There is a lot for me to adjust to.
“Coming from a career in Argentine touring cars, everything is very different – particularly the high downforce and the carbon brakes on the INDYCAR. Also, the physicality of driving these cars is an enormous challenge. The car is demanding and the races are long.
“It will be a great honour for me to represent Argentina in a championship that has many of the best drivers in the world, and is one of the most demanding and competitive categories in motorsports.”
Ricardo Juncos, JHR team principal and co-owner, said:
“The results in testing were very pleasing for our team. Callum and Agustín clearly have very different racing experience but what we’ve discovered is their driving style and feedback is quite similar. That’s a huge advantage for the engineers when they’re comparing data and analyzing set-ups to get the best out of each car. We’re feeling very good about the work we’ve done so far and we hope it continues at St. Pete.
“With Callum, we’ll be trying to start the season in the same positive way that he finished at Laguna Seca where he almost took pole position. It was a very strong period and we’ll be working hard to make sure all the team can work together and build towards that kind of speed again.
“For Agustin, it will be a very different approach. He’ll try to learn as much as he can and do as many laps as possible at St. Pete. That will be a great starting point for him going forward in the championship and gives his #78 car a solid foundation as we continue our work to be a top team in INDYCAR.”