The Mazda Road to Indy is designed to help take the best of young drivers from the entry level of the sport to the top of North American open wheel racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Despite some notable names such as James Hinchcliffe, Conor Daly and Spencer Pigot, drivers aren’t the only participants that develop through the valuable experience. Race teams, especially in recent years, are beginning to look at the ladder as a potential avenue for development to the ‘big league,’ now proven with Juncos Racing’s announcement to participate in this year’s Indianapolis 500.
The Indianapolis 500 entrant is one of the most exciting race entrant for the series in many years. The team relocated from Miami to Indianapolis late last year with team owner, Ricardo Juncos, looking spry as of late to jump into the top tier.
Kevin Kalkhoven will help in the move to the series, with the team purchasing the remaining assets of Kalkoven’s defunct KV Racing team.
Previously discussed on Push to Pass Podcast, it was rumored that KV Racing’s equipment would be sold to Carlin Racing in another bid to move up from Indy Lights. The deal never came to fruition, but Juncos’ announcement revealed who the benefactor was.
Juncos Racing began in the U.S. in 2003 as a full service karting team after competing in Formula Renault and National Sports Prototype Championships in Argentina from 1997. They made the move to the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires in 2009 and won the driver’s championship in 2010 with Peter Dempsey.
A move to Indy Lights in 2012 would progress the team another step closer to IndyCar. In 2014, Pigot won the Indy Lights driver’s championship in a Juncos car.
“I am so happy to officially announce our participation in the Verizon IndyCar Series,” said Juncos. “This is a dream come true for me and my team. It’s been only two months since our grand opening of the new Juncos Technical Center, which was a huge moment for us. Now we are becoming a new team in the Verizon IndyCar Series and will run in ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,’ the Indianapolis 500. This is definitely one of the biggest moments in my life.”
Driver and manufacturer announcements will be released closer to May.
Photo: Juncos Racing