Heartbreaking End to History Making Weekend
Heartbreaking End to History Making Weekend for Juncos Hollinger Racing and Callum Ilott in NTT INDYCAR SERIES Finale
Juncos Hollinger Racing, the only one car team running in the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES, earned their best qualifying result ever this weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca when rookie Callum Ilott qualified on the front row. After running inside the Top-5 for the first part of the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey, the No. 77 JHR Chevrolet would unfortunately retire early due to a mechanical issue.
The final weekend of the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES proved to be one of the most successful runs for JHR in their first full season. Ilott came out strong during the first practice session Friday, finishing fifth quickest overall.
Saturday teams returned to the 2.239-mile, 11-turn road course for one final practice before qualifying that afternoon. Ilott finished the session ninth overall.
The final three rounds of knockout qualifying began Saturday afternoon, where Ilott was placed in the second group for round one. Ilott easily managed to make it out of the first round, onto round 2 with the Top-12 cars. For the first time ever the No. 77 JHR Chevrolet was able to advance out of round 2, onto the final round in the Fast Six. Ilott battled for the pole position, however, would narrowly miss it and settle for second, putting JHR in a solid position on the front row for the 95-lap race.
““To end the season starting on the front row was exactly the boost we needed going into the offseason””
Sunday morning kicked off with one final 30-minute warm up session before the season finale that afternoon.
The 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season came to a close Sunday afternoon. Ilott started on the outside of the first row. Once the green flag waved, cars went to battle for position. Ilott lost two positions on the start, but would work his way back to the top, leading the race by lap-15. The No. 77 JHR Chevrolet came into pit on lap-16, switching to blacks after starting on Firestone alternates. After pitting, Ilott was running seventh, but worked his way up to fourth by lap-24. The solid performance put on by Ilott would unfortunately come to an end early on lap-37 after the car suffered a mechanical issue, putting the No. 77 out of the race.
Despite Ilott not being able to finish the race, the team leaves with their most successful qualifying run in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. JHR will return to the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES with Callum Ilott and a second full time entry.
“To end the season starting on the front row was exactly the boost we needed going into the offseason,” said JHR Co-owner and Team Principal Ricardo Juncos. “I am confident we would have had a great result today if we had not suffered a mechanical issue outside of our control. The team did an amazing job, giving Callum a fast car all weekend. It’s disappointing that we were not able to get the result we deserved after the incredible drive by Callum and work the team put into this season. I want to thank everyone at JHR and all of our sponsors for all the work and dedication they put into our first full run in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. I also want to thank all of the families a part of JHR and our incredible fans for their support this year. We will work hard this off season building our full time two car team and be back even stronger next year.”
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