Long Beach weekend fails to deliver for Juncos Hollinger Racing
Long Beach, California April 16, 2023
Two separate bits of contact derailed Juncos Hollinger Racing’s hopes of taking a pair of solid results away from the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach this afternoon.
Drivers Callum Ilott and Agustín Canapino knew they had good race pace in their cars and were keen to put a frustrating qualifying session behind them when the third round of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES got underway in California.
But Callum hit trouble on lap 7 when his #77 Dallara-Chevrolet ran wide at Turn 1 and hit the wall. The impact damaged the front-right wheel and Callum was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop for repairs. He rejoined the action in P26 – a lap down.
Rookie Agustín made a confident start to his first race on the tricky Long Beach street course and was running in P23 as the laps were chalked off. However, the Argentine suffered contact as he diced with a rival when the race went green after a caution period on lap 26.
Agustín was unable to prevent his #78 machine from making contact with the trackside wall and the resultant damage to the front-left wheel and suspension needed to be repaired in the pits. He did return to the track to complete more valuable running but was classified in P25 – 33 laps in arrears.
Callum meanwhile, crossed the finishing line in P19 to maintain his 100% finishing record so far this season.
“We were kind of on the back foot since the crash in Practice 2 and it wasn't an easy one”
Callum Ilott said:
“It wasn’t a great race and not a good weekend overall. We were kind of on the back foot since the crash in Practice 2 and it wasn’t an easy one. Sometimes it’s like that and it was a culmination of things that just kept adding together. It’s a bit disappointing and we knew this was going to be a tough one anyway car-wise. It’s going to be quite nice to move onto Barber and back where we expect we’ll be stronger.”
“My car touched the wall and it broke. It was a shame because we had a good car today with the black tyres”
Agustín Canapino said:
“Unfortunately, we had bad luck in the moment when my race ended. I lost some time when Callum came out the pits on cold tyres and in that moment [Hélio] Castroneves tried to overtake me and I didn’t know he was one lap down. My car touched the wall and it broke. It was a shame because we had a good car today with the black tyres, but this is racing and this type of thing can happen. Now, we try to learn from this incident and come back stronger for the next race.”
“It's a tough weekend to digest because the pace was there, but we just couldn't show it”
Ricardo Juncos said:
“The weekend didn’t go as we expected. We had so much pace in the cars and that was a big improvement on last year, but the weekend started badly after qualifying and the race was also difficult with contact for both drivers. It’s a tough weekend to digest because the pace was there, but we just couldn’t show it. I want to thank everyone in the team because even when we have some tricky moments, the chemistry is always there. It’s also great to see Callum and Agustín working so well together and pulling hard for the team. As a unit, we’re learning all the time and making progress – I’m happy with that. We’ll put this weekend quickly behind us and look forward to the INDY 500 test and the next race in a couple of weeks.”
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