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Callum and Agústin show the Power of Possibility in opening Iowa race
TEAM UPDATE 07 \\ 22
HY-VEE HOMEFRONT 250_RACE_REVIEW
Callum and Agústin show the Power of Possibility in opening Iowa race
Juncos Hollinger Racing rounded off an action-packed day at Iowa Speedway with a resurgent race display in this afternoon’s Hy-Vee Homefront 250. Callum Ilott and team-mate Agustín Canapino impressively climbed the field to finish P15 and P16 respectively.
There was little time for the team to assess this morning’s rain-delayed qualifying performance before returning to the track for the first NTT INDYCAR race of
Callum and Agustín’s mission was clear: to embrace the team’s ‘Power of Possibility’ mission statement by moving forward from their P24 and P25
Both men looked to move up the order as soon as the 250-lap race went green. Agustín impressively gained six positions in a handful of laps, while Callum also made a positive start as he climbed up to P22 during the early exchanges.
With the field taking less than 20 seconds to complete a lap of the 0.875-mile oval, the opening stint was soon over. Tire degradation would play a key role in race strategy, and Callum was among the first to dive into the pit road for fresh Firestone rubber on lap 51.
Agustín meanwhile, climbed as high as P5 when he opted to extend his first run. Eventually the Argentine rookie pitted on lap 64 and returned to the field 20 positions lower – an indication of how closely-fought the race was shaping
up to be.
Another round of pit stops and a caution period shuffled the order just past the halfway point. With 100 laps remaining, Callum sat in P15 with team-mate Agustín occupying P17.
Only a final round of pit stops gave the JHR drivers a break from the race’s immense physical demands, but when they re-joined the race, the newly swept track gave Callum and Agustín an opportunity to be adventurous by straying away from the natural racing line to out-manoeuvre their rivals as the race entered its final phase.
Their bravery was rewarded with P15 and P16 at the checkered flag, giving both men plenty of confidence ahead of Sunday’s second race at Iowa.
“Overall, it was a pretty eventful race. I lost a bit of ground on the first couple of stints, but we soon got the car into a good window and had good pace. During the race you can get lapped and also lap other people, so it was challenging to gauge where I was.
“We had a good race car, and I think that if we can nail the first couple of runs in tomorrow’s race then we’ll be good. Today was a good day overall, so thank you to the team and to Chevy.”
“I am really happy with P16, now that we have finished our first race in Iowa. It has been a really great experience so far, even though I had a little bit of bad luck with the yellow flags.
“Our race pace has been really strong here so we have to go again tomorrow, determined to claim some good points.”
“We have now finished race one at Iowa, and I am very happy with the team. Both drivers had a fantastic race. Only one caution period made it very tough, but we had good pace. It was still not perfect, and we will fine-tune some things in preparation for tomorrow, but I think that we have started the weekend very well.
“I’m really happy with the balance that we got for the race compared to qualifying. We thought that the car was going to be better this afternoon and I think it was. Now, we are going to keep improving for tomorrow and I’m looking forward to race 2.”
|INDY NXT UPDATE|
Juncos Hollinger Racing wrapped up a successful Saturday at Iowa with a podium for Rasmus Lindh in tonight’s INDY NXT by Firestone race. Team-mate Matthew Brabham also sealed a spectacular return to the series by taking a mighty P4 at the checkered flag.
Rasmus and Matthew were determined to follow yesterday’s assured qualifying performance with a strong start to today’s 75-lap race, and they quickly progressed from their P10 and P11 starting spots.
The #75 and #76 cars looked well-suited to the bumpy 0.875-mile oval course, and both men patiently worked their way up the field to put themselves on the cusp of the podium places when a late caution period brought the pack together with 15 laps left to run.
On the restart, the duo battled hard – but fairly – with their rivals to move up a position each and into P3 and P4 respectively.
Swede Rasmus’ P3 finish is his best result of the season and his first-ever INDY NXT podium, meanwhile Matthew completed 17 overtakes during the race – the highest of any driver in the field.
“It was a great result for the team, so I’m super happy. It was an awesome race, and I had so much fun moving through the field. The car had the speed at the end and we came through all the way from P11 to finish P4. I didn’t do any of the testing and jumped in for the race, so I am pretty happy.
“I cannot thank Ricardo [Juncos], Brad [Hollinger], and everyone on the team enough. They did such a great job to prepare the cars and give me a good platform to do well straight away. Congratulations to the team for getting a podium with Rasmus too. It was a lot of fun out there and I’m hugely grateful for the opportunity.”
“I’m really happy with the result, thank you to Juncos Hollinger Racing for all of their effort. We’ve been strong all weekend. It took a little bit of a gamble during qualifying to put a lot of downforce into the car, but it worked out. Thank you to SKF, Husvärden, International Motorsport, and everyone involved in making this podium finish possible.”
“I’m super happy with the results. We showed our potential and a lot of pace. I want to thank all of the team members, as they have done a great job. I would also like to thank Matthew, as he jumped in the #75 car at the last minute. He couldn’t test much before qualifying, so I am really happy with
“We are still building this team for the future, and this was a good way to learn about Iowa going forwards. We will continue developing in INDY NXT to be a good support for our INDYCAR programme. Now, I’m looking forward to competing in Nashville as we continue to progress in the season ahead.”
TEAM UPDATE 07 \\ 23
JHR conclude Iowa double-header with mixed results
Juncos Hollinger Racing wrapped up its NTT INDYCAR double-header weekend at Iowa Speedway with mixed results in this afternoon’s second race. Callum Ilott bettered his result in yesterday’s opening race by finishing P14, while Agustín Canapino’s brush with the wall bumped him down the order into P26.
The team took valuable experience from Saturday’s race on the Iowa asphalt and used this to fine-tune its #77 and #78 Dallara-Chevrolets ahead of today’s
Callum lined up P24 on the grid, with team-mate Agustín one place ahead. There was a clear indication of the team’s overnight improvement when the green flag flew, as Callum moved up six positions in the opening exchanges of the
Agustín was also pushing hard. The Argentine recorded the most overtakes of any driver during the first 10 laps as he completed nine clean manoeuvres.
The intense physical demands of the 0.875-mile circuit showed no sign of slowing the JHR drivers’ progress, as both men forced their way into the top-10 before the opening stint came to a close.
While Callum made the first of five visits to the pit road on lap 54, Agustín stayed out on track for longer. The rookie ran as high as P2 before switching to fresh Firestone rubber.
Agustín continued to make steady progress on his new tires, but his unfortunate brush with the Turn 2 wall on lap 88 brought out the yellow flags. A momentary loss of grip on the ‘marbles’ when taking a high racing line caused the contact that required an extended pit stop to repair the damage. The incident cost Agustín 10 laps.
Callum meanwhile, continued to put pressure on the top-10 as he reached speeds of more than 161mph in his pursuit of a strong finish. After a caution period neutralized the field in the final stages, Callum maintained his position during a frantic two-lap dash to the finish to secure P14.
Agustín took the checkered flag in P26 – 10 places lower than his Saturday result – but reaching the finish of another gruelling race marked another important step on the 33-year-old’s journey as an INDYCAR rookie.
“It has been a pretty strong two days for us. I gained nine positions yesterday to finish P15, and today I gained ten positions to earn P14. Overall, the car felt great. I was a lot more comfortable with things today, compared to yesterday, so we made some big improvements.
“We got really unlucky with the yellow flags. I was the last person for Newgarden to pass on both of those last yellows, and I lost laps because of that. Otherwise, it was looking quite good. Luck wasn’t on our side, but the pace was good and we did the best job that we could. A big thank you to the team, to Chevy, and to Pay.com who have been onboard with us this weekend.”
“I think that we had a car to battle for the top 10 today, without a doubt. Unfortunately, I touched the wall when I picked up the marbles during the race. It’s a big shame, but I would like to thank the team for all their hard work as the car was awesome.
“It was a learning experience for me today, but I’m looking forward to going again at Nashville in two weeks’ time.”
“We finished in Iowa with a very hard race today. We made some changes on both cars after yesterday, and we showed some really good pace in the warmup and during the race. It was a very good weekend for us overall. We made some big improvements on the technical aspects this weekend, and we are improving on the strategy and pit stops too.
“It was a great job from Callum to finish P14 today, and Agustín did a fantastic job despite making contact with the wall. Now we are looking forward to the next race at Nashville, where we are going to keep improving in this competitive INDYCAR series.”