TEAM UPDATE 05 \\ 17
JHR prepare for INDY 500 qualifying
Preparation for the greatest spectacle in motorsports is underway. Callum Ilott and Agustín Canapino will take to the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval for INDY 500 qualifying this weekend (May 20-21), before the sixth round of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES is contested next Sunday (May 28).
The start of INDY 500 qualifying at the ‘Brickyard’ kicks off the most important week of the season for Juncos Hollinger Racing at its home track. The 2.5-mile oval contains four corners, each banked at nine degrees to provide close racing at more than 220mph.
A massive 23 hours of practice time will be afforded to the teams, with qualifying to be split across two days this weekend. A field of 34 drivers will be fighting to secure a coveted place on the INDY 500 grid. But with space for only 33, one will be painfully eliminated on Sunday.
JHR is entering two drivers for the first time this year, with Argentine rookie Agustín set to carry the colors of Argentina’s flag on his #78 Dallara-Chevrolet. His distinctive new livery is the result of a strategic partnership between JHR and the Argentine Football Association (AFA).
Callum’s experience at last year’s INDY 500, paired with his recent success on the ovals, will give the Briton valuable confidence heading into this weekend’s qualifying. He scored the team’s best-ever result on the Texas Motor Speedway oval earlier this year, finishing P9.
77 \ CALLUM ILOTT
“Having the experience of competing at last year’s INDY 500 will be good to fall back on, as we know how to approach the occasion well, and as a driver I know what the procedure is.
“To make a good qualifying lap, you’ve got to be smooth, fast, and to have the car on the limit between downforce and drag as the tires will be cooking by lap four. As a result, it will be about preserving everything in the right window.
“I want to improve on my qualifying result of P19 last year, so I will see how far I can push the car to get the most out of it.”
78 \ AGUSTIN CANAPINO
“It will be my first qualifying for the INDY 500, so I will have to learn everything. I’ll do my best during practice, as it will be important to prepare the car and setup for a good lap on Saturday so I can qualify for the race next weekend. There will be pressure, but I will try to do a good lap by finding the limits of the car during the week.”
TP \ RICARDO JUNCOS
“Arriving at Indy for practice, Agustín has a brand-new car that has not previously tested on the Indy oval. Last time he used his car from Texas. So, with this being the first time the car has been on track, it will be important to make sure that everything works as expected. Callum’s car also has a new gearbox and differential so it’s vital we run that properly before quali to make sure everything is fine.
“We will keep working hard as we progress through practice this week and then look forward to ‘Fast Friday’. That’s the day where we will throw everything that we have towards a qualifying setup, so we’re in the best possible position for the weekend. We’re all excited and looking forward to a great INDY 500.”