TEAM UPDATE 09 \\ 09
FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF MONTEREY_QUALIFYING_REVIEW
JHR targets strong finish at Monterey season finale
Juncos Hollinger Racing drivers showed good pace during today’s Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey qualifying and are determined to end the season on a high at tomorrow’s NTT INDYCAR season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Agustín Canapino earned his best qualifying result of the year with P13 but will start the race from P19 due to an engine-related penalty. His team-mate Callum Ilott will begin in P20.
Both men were split into separate qualifying groups at the 2.2-mile road course. Agustín took to the circuit first, and opted to begin on Firestone’s primary tire.
After a switch to the red sidewall alternate tire, he claimed P7 in the group on his final hot lap. His 1m 7.400s lap time broke the previous Laguna Seca lap record by three tenths, but was two tenths away from progression into the ‘Fast 12’.
Callum mirrored Agustín’s tire strategy shortly afterwards in Group 2, a move which helped to position the Briton inside the top six for much of the 10-minute session. Despite his late efforts on the alternate tire, Callum was unable to match the increasing speed of his rivals and claimed P10 in the group with a
1m 7.518s lap.
“It’s been a pretty interesting day; I think we had a bit more potential than we showed. Unfortunately it was quite a messy session. A lot of sand had been brought onto the track by some of the cars ahead.
“I tried to get the best result possible, and unfortunately that was P20 overall. That was not great, especially after the speed we had here last year. But tomorrow is a new day and I think the race pace should be good, we just need to get everything right and try to move forward as we’ve got a good car.”
“We are really happy with our best qualifying result of the year, finishing P7 in the group. Unfortunately, I have the penalty which means that I will start P19 tomorrow.
“It’s my first time here at Laguna Seca and I’m really proud of the team. Thank you to everybody for their hard work. Let’s try to achieve our best race result of the year too.”
“It’s been a great weekend so far; we have shown a lot of speed in INDYCAR. The track conditions have been difficult, but overall I think that we have shown good speed throughout the weekend.
“Unfortunately for Callum, there was so much dust in front of him during qualifying that it was difficult for him to put a lap together. Agustín did a fantastic job during his first visit to the track, earning P7 in his group. It was amazing to see that performance from him in the last round of
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s final race of the season. There has clearly been another big improvement from the whole team, and I want to thank every team member for their effort.”
|FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF MONTEREY|
INDY WARMUP 12:00 ET
NXT RACE 2 12:55 ET
INDY RACE 14:30 ET
A spectacular venue for the final race of the season, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca features 91 meters of elevation change and 11 challenging turns. The famous ‘Corkscrew’ is totally unique in US motorsports and adds to the excitement.
|INDY NXT UPDATE|
Juncos Hollinger Racing began this weekend’s INDY NXT double-header in great shape as Matthew Brabham finished the INDY NXT by Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey in P5, with Victor Franzoni right behind in P6 to secure his best result
of the season.
In the earlier qualifying, Matthew secured a P7 start for both races, while Victor put himself P4 on today’s grid and P18 for Sunday’s finale.
Both men started the 35-lap race strongly, with Victor holding P4 before a frenetic restart on lap 30 that shook up the order. Matthew moved up a position and into the top five, while his team-mate dropped two places before the checkered flag.
“Qualifying was nice earlier today, as I was P4 in the first session. On the second session we had a brake problem which meant that we couldn’t put together a good lap.
“We had a pretty good race this afternoon and recorded our best result of the season. I was P4 for most of the race, but I made some mistakes on the restart and ended up in P6. I’m still happy with that result.
“We’ll make sure to put on a good show tomorrow and try our best from the back of the field. It’s going to be difficult, but it will still be a fun race.”
“I was a little bit disappointed with qualifying, to be honest. I think the car is definitely fast enough to try and compete for a podium. I had the pace to be within the top-5 but had a spin which hurt the tires and caused a little bit of damage to the diffuser. Even though I had a bit of a disadvantage, I still ended up with P7.
“I think the race went well, which was bitter-sweet because I felt like I was one of the fastest cars and could have ended on the podium if I had started further up.
“The pace and performance at the end was really encouraging, and to go from P7 to P5 was a lot of fun and a good result.”
“It has been a difficult INDY NXT weekend, but we still managed to run both cars around the top-5 in every session.
“I’m really happy for Victor as he did well in qualifying and could have potentially earned P1, but some brake problems meant that we missed pole position. Matthew is also doing an excellent job in the #76 car.
“Now we will look forward to tomorrow’s final INDY NXT race of the season, where we will look to do a good job once again.”