Juncos Racing Adopts Team Davey Hamilton Racing Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear team Juncos Racing has expanded its presence in the Mazda Road to Indy program by adopting the Firestone Indy Lights team of Davey Hamilton Racing.
With three years of experience in the Star Mazda Championship-including a record-breaking championship title-team owner Ricardo Juncos is eager to grow his team and move up to the next rung on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder in 2012. Juncos' passion for the sport and commitment to this exciting decision have also inspired him to move home and headquarters to Brownsburg, Indiana, just outside of the "racing capital of the world", Indianapolis.
"I'm so excited and proud to announce this big news for Juncos Racing," said Ricardo Juncos. "I really believe in the Mazda Road to Indy program as well the people who are running the program and making it all happen. I feel like each team involved in the ladder system is responsible for the success of this program, and the more teams that support it, the more it will continue to grow and be successful for everybody. Being in Indianapolis is a dream come true for me, too. Coming from Argentina, it's a really big deal for me and the crew members to move to the racing capital of the U.S. The team is going to benefit from this relocation in so many aspects, so I couldn't be happier.
Juncos Racing will also keep a facility in Fort Pierce, Florida to promote year-round testing.
"Making this move into the Firestone Indy Lights Series is so exciting," continued Juncos. "After many years of success developing drivers, we can now continue moving through the ladder system within our own teams in the Star Mazda Championship and Firestone Indy Lights Series and in the future, produce new, good drivers for the IZOD IndyCar Series. We will put all of our energy, dedication, hard work and passion into being one of the best teams in the series, just as we have always done."
Davey Hamilton Racing's lead engineer Darrell Soppe will transition into the role of lead engineer for Juncos Racing's Firestone Indy Lights program. Soppe is one of the most respected and renowned engineers in racing with a résumé that includes working for Penske Motorsports for five years where he helped Rick Mears win both the Indy 500 and championship title in 1979, working with Newman-Haas where he helped Mario Andretti win the championship title in 1984, and, one of his proudest achievements, helping develop Buick's engine program during its involvement in what is now the IZOD IndyCar Series.
Longtime mechanic and crew chief for Davey Hamilton Racing, Jimmy Pinkley, will also stay with the new team. The veteran pair will undoubtedly bring experience, knowledge and professionalism to Juncos Racing as the novice Firestone Indy Lights team launches into this endeavor.
"I have to thank Doctor John Wagner and Davey Hamilton for trusting in Juncos Racing," said Juncos. "They have been so good to me and even gave me the chance to keep two team members on board that will be very important to us; Jimmy Pinkley will be our Crew Chief and Darrell Soppe will be our Engineer. The amount of experience and success they have speaks for itself."
"Both Jimmy (Pinkley) and Darrell (Soppe) are the heart of our race team and will stay with what will now be Juncos Racing," stated Davey Hamilton Racing team principal, Doctor Wagner.
Davey Hamilton Racing participated in three partial seasons in the Firestone Indy Lights Series with Brandon Wagner-who captured a pole and win for the team-from 2009-2011. Now a graduate from the final step in the Mazda Road to Indy program, Wagner will pursue a drive in the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2012. Wagner's father and Firestone Indy Lights team principal, Doctor Wagner, will now hand the keys over to Ricardo Juncos who will immediately begin readying the team for competition in 2012. With this deal in place, Juncos hopes to follow in Wagner's and Davey Hamilton Racing's footsteps and in the future, graduate his team and drivers through the Mazda Road to Indy ladder and into the pinnacle of the sport, the IZOD IndyCar Series.
"Davey Hamilton and I are very excited about Ricardo (Juncos)'s decision to continue the success of our Firestone Indy Lights team," continued Doctor Wagner. "Additionally, Davey will continue with Brandon (Wagner)'s racing career as he pursues his quest to race next year in the IZOD IndyCar Series."
Juncos Racing plans to run a full season with both the Star Mazda Championship team and the newly acquired Firestone Indy Lights team in 2012.
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