Junqueira joins AIM Autosport at Watkins Glen
Coming off its best finish of the 2009 season, AIM Autosport is pleased to announce that Champ Car and Indy Car driver Bruno Junqueira will join the team for the next race in the Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16. Junqueira (BRA) will join Mark Wilkins (CAN) and Burt Frisselle (USA) in the No. 61 Ford Riley for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen which takes place June 6th at Watkins Glen International in New York.
Discussions between AIM Autosport and the thirty-two year old Brazilian began earlier this year when Junqueira, after spending the last twelve years in formula cars, was said to be looking for opportunities to make the switch to sports car racing. Bruno had one hundred and one career starts in Champ Car and five appearances in the Indy 500 between 2001 and 2008. He sat on the pole for the 2002 Indy 500 and after a successful career in Champ Car where he was championship runner-up three times, Bruno moved to the Indy Car Series for 2008. Junqueira returned to Indy this past weekend and qualified the No 36 Conquest Racing car 30th for this year’s Indy 500 starting grid. [Editor's Note: Junqueira did a stellar job qualifying the Conquest car with very little practice time, only to be abruptly replaced after qualifying was set by his teammate, Alex Tagliani, for sponsorship related reasons.]
“I have thought about moving to sports car racing for a while,” said Junqueira. “The competition is very close and the racing is exciting. This seemed a logical step to add another dimension to my racing career.”
He continued, “The more I looked at the Rolex Sports Car Series, the more interested I became, especially to compete with a team that can run at the front. When the opportunity came to sit down with Andrew (Bordin) and Ian (Willis) from AIM Autosport I knew I was talking with the right team. They have a very strong program that has proven itself on the track. I am looking forward to participating in their continued success.”
The race at Watkins Glen will be Junqueira’s first in a Daytona Prototype but not his first on the circuit. He raced in the Indy Car event at The Glen last season recording his best finish of the season (6th).
“We are looking forward to having Bruno in the car”, commented AIM Autosport’s Andrew Bordin. “He has a very impressive history of speed and it will be fun to watch what Bruno can do with a competitive car like the No 61 Ford Riley. Bruno is a race winner and AIM has a race-winning car - a good combination going forward in this very competitive series.”
Junqueira will travel to AIM Autosport’s shop just outside Toronto next week for a seat fitting, review data and in-car videos from last year’s race, plus get acquainted with the car and the crew. The AIM Autosport No 61 Ford Riley qualified on the front row for the 2008 edition of the Six Hours of the Glen and finished the race in seventh place.
The Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen takes place on Saturday, June 6th starting at 2:00 p.m. ET. Practice begins on Thursday afternoon with qualifying on Friday. The race will be broadcast live on SPEED TV.