Race reviewindycar_R9_Jul.02.2023Honda Indy 200
The 2.25-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is a natural terrain road course that drivers love. Its elevation changes, high-speed corners, flowing corners, tight corners and 40-foot track width make for an exciting challenge.
Race start: 15.00 ET.
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, OhioJuly 2, 2023
Juncos Hollinger Racing’s composed approach at the Honda Indy 200 gave Callum Ilott the opportunity to make a late surge through the NTT INDYCAR SERIES field in Mid-Ohio earlier today. The Briton took the checkered flag in P16, while team-mate Agustín Canapino secured P23.
New rain vanes were fitted to the aeroscreens on both of the JHR cars before the race to prepare for damp on-track conditions. With 80 challenging laps ahead of them, Callum and Agustín lined up in P20 and P21 respectively on the grid.
The team chose a two-stop strategy at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Agustín opted for a shorter but faster opening stint on Firestone’s red alternate tire, making his first pit stop on lap 25. Callum meanwhile, visited the pit road three laps later by extending his first run on the primary tire.
With another fresh set of alternate tires bolted to the #77 Dallara-Chevrolet at two-thirds race distance, Callum retained many of his 200 ‘push to pass’ seconds for an ambitious final stint. The 24-year-old pulled off some incredible moves around the 13-turn track while setting lap times on par with the race leaders. His reward was P16.
Agustín also navigated his way around the narrow circuit successfully, completing a huge 25 passes during the race. However, earlier contact from a rival dented the Argentine’s hopes of breaking into the top-20. He therefore ended the day in P23, but overcoming the challenging conditions in Mid-Ohio is an experience that will serve the rookie well as he looks to make even more progress during the second half of the season.
“It wasn’t easy to maintain track position, but once we got going the pace was good.”
Callum Ilott said:
“We probably could have got a little bit more out of today’s result. I had a tough time after the first pit stop. It wasn’t easy to maintain track position, but once we got going the pace was good. I was able to move forward and get to P16.
“Now we move onto the next one. We’ve got Toronto coming up, and last year we were strong there. We’ll take these points and learn what we can going into the next round.”
“Unfortunately, it was not the race which we wanted, as I struggled with the tire degradation.”
Agustín Canapino said:
“We’ve finished at Mid-Ohio in P23. Unfortunately, it was not the race which we wanted, as I struggled with the tire degradation. But, it was good to gain further experience. Now, I’m looking forward to racing at Toronto in two weeks’ time.”
“With our performance, I think we reduced the deficit to some of the cars in front of us and made some great improvements.”
Ricardo Juncos said:
“On the INDYCAR side, today’s result does not reflect what we achieved this weekend. With our performance, I think we reduced the deficit to some of the cars in front of us and made some great improvements.
“Agustín suffered an incident during the race which sent him to the back, and he finished P23. Callum finished P16, and I think that can be considered a good start to the second half of the season.
“We restructured the technical department this weekend, and it was our first race with new people in the team. I’m really happy with the change and we are in a good place to move forward in the races that are left.
“In INDY NXT, it was a difficult weekend. We had a few issues in qualifying, and unfortunately Matteo was disadvantaged by the red flag stoppage and started from the back.
“He was unable to finish the race today, so we will investigate the cause. Rasmus did a good job this weekend, finishing P7.”
Rasmus Lindh mastered the damp conditions in the INDY NXT by Firestone Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio earlier today, finishing P7. Meanwhile, team-mate Matteo Nannini’s race ended prematurely and he was classified P17.
Today’s wet Mid-Ohio morning tested the drivers’ mettle, as Rasmus lined up on the grid in P8. For Matteo, troubles in yesterday’s qualifying resulted in the Italian-Argentinian starting P16.
Despite pushing hard, Rasmus was unable to make huge gains on the narrow 2.25-mile road course. For Matteo, heartbreak struck when he was forced to retire early due to mechanical issues.