Juncos Racing successful with new PM-18 debut at IMS
 October 23, 2017| 
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Indianapolis, Ind. – The new PM-18 car made it’s official debut among teams in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires this past weekend at the Chris Griffis Memorial Test. Juncos Racing drivers proved to be among the quickest in the field with Carlos Cunha and Robert Megennis both leading multiple sessions.

Teams had eight 40-minute sessions during the two-day test on the 2.439 mile, 14-Turn road course located at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Every driver in the Pro Mazda field posted unofficial times faster than the current track record in the new PM-18 car.

Carlos Cunha (Sao Paulo, Brazil) split his days running in both the Pro Mazda series (Saturday) and Indy Lights series (Sunday). The Brazilian proved to be one of the fastest cars on track setting the fastest pace in the first session of the weekend. Cunha posted a best time of 1:20.0236.

“The two days of testing in Indy (Indianapolis) was a great ending to this month,” said Cunha. “We were able to test a few days with the new PM-18 before the Chris Griffis test and started to understand a bit of the new car. It is so fun to drive, and a huge improvement over the previous Pro Mazda race car. It feels more like what I used to drive, a Formula 3 type car, but with more power. The Juncos team has been very supportive and organized, and we had a great day of development with the car on Saturday, even if we, at the end, were not able to capitalize on it with new tires due to some car issues which were out of our control.  Every new race car suffers setbacks and all in all it was pretty reliable and we were able to set very competitive times with old tires, besides being fastest or second fastest in a couple of sessions. We were always in the sharp end of the time sheets.”

Robert Megennis (New York, New York) showed great consistency and speed during both days in the Pro Mazda series. Megennis topped the speed charts in two sessions and ended the weekend with a best time of 1:20.1268. The young American joined Juncos Racing after a successful season in the 2017 USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.

“The test was awesome,” said Megennis. “It was the first official practice for the PM-18 car. The car is super fast, super fun, and a very good step up from the USF2000 series car. I loved every second of the weekend, and had an amazing time with Juncos Racing. They had the car on rails and we showed that by topping the charts during the last session of each day. Were were fast, we learned a ton about the car, and we all had a good time. I can’t thank Juncos Racing and Palo Alto Networks enough for making it all happen.”

Sting Ray Robb (Payette, Idaho) rounded out the driver line-up for Juncos Racing. Robb started off the weekend posting times inside the Top-5, but an issue with the gearbox forced his day to end early Saturday. Robb was able to rejoin field for the final four sessions Sunday, and went on to finish the weekend with a best overall time of 1:20.8357.

“Juncos Racing was fantastic,” said Robb. “It was a good experience to work with a team at this level especially when you are developing a new car. We accomplished a lot in both the Mid-Ohio and Indy tests. I look forward to our next steps.”

Team Owner Ricardo Juncos is pleased with the results and the development they have been able to complete with the new PM-18 cars since receiving them back in September.

“Overall we had a successful weekend during the first official test sessions in the new PM-18,” said Juncos. “The drivers really enjoyed the cars with the speed and handling they delivered. This car is exactly what the Pro Mazda series needed. The PM-18 completes a great line-up of cars in the Mazda Road to Indy series. We battled some issues with the cars throughout the weekend, but that is to be expected with any new product and it’s first real use. We will continue our development of the car during the off season and look forward to the 2018 season with the new PM-18.”

Juncos said “We had a lot of new faces here at Juncos Racing this weekend. Not only did we have new drivers, but new crew members on each team. We had a total of six people who were either new to the team or new to the position on the team. I am extermely pleased after seeing how well everyone performed in their new role. It was great working with Carlos (Cunha), Rob (Megennis), and Sting Ray (Robb) in the Pro Mazda car. Carlos had a great run in the Pro Mazda series, and was able to finish second fastest overall with just one day in the car. Rob did a great job as well all weekend. He had to battle a lot of issues with the car throughout each day, but was able to post the quickest time in the last session of each day. Sting Ray had some unfortunate issues on the first day due to the gear box and did not get as much time in the car as we planned for. We were thrilled we had the opportunity to put him in another car Sunday so he was able to finish out the final test sessions of the weekend. I want to thank all of the drivers and their families for being a part of Juncos Racing this past weekend. We had a great time and look forward to finalizing our line-up for the 2018 season.”

About Juncos Racing:

 Juncos Racing is a championship-winning Mazda Road to Indy team currently running in Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires and Indy Lights Championship presented by Cooper Tires.

Juncos Racing was established by Ricardo Juncos in 1997 as a small formula car race program based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After times became financially tough, Juncos relocated to the United States in 2002 where he worked as a mechanic for a small karting team based in Florida. Juncos was then able to open the doors to his own shop and run in karting series throughout the United States.

In 2009, Juncos Racing entered in the former Star Mazda Championship (now the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires), where the team had great success in its maiden season, finishing second in the driver's championship and third in the team championship. The following year, the team captured its first championship in the series with Indiana native Conor Daly. Fast forward to 2015, where Juncos Racing had its most successful season capturing the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires driver's championship with current Verizon Indy Car Series driver Spencer Pigot and also claiming the Pro Mazda team championship.

In 2017, Juncos Racing announced they would enter the Verizon IndyCar series and compete in the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500. The rookie team would go on to finish a respected 15th with Sebastian Saavedra and 18th with Spencer Pigot. Juncos Racing also captured the Pro Mazda Championship and Indy Lights Championship, as the only team to win both series in the same year in the Mazda Road to Indy history.

The mission of Juncos Racing is to develop young drivers from around the world into the next level of their racing careers through the Juncos Racing Driver Development Program. Through this program, the team not only works with drivers on track to improve their skills behind the wheel, but also gives them the tools needed to understand the engineering and mechanics of the race car. Drivers who have participated in the program and have gone on to compete in the next level include Peter Dempsey, Conor Daly, Connor De Phillippi, Chase Austin, Kyle Kaiser, Nicolas Dapero and Spencer Pigot. 

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