Juncos Hollinger Racing’s Callum Ilott was delighted with how the Team’s first race went as he made his way into the top three and held that position for nearly 30 laps.
Ilott started the race from 19th and finished 19th, although the result did not reflect the performance.
What a race. “It went from really struggling on the reds to boxing a little early and getting it right with the full-course yellow and coming out 12th. A lot of guys in front of me ended up having to pit a bit earlier. I was hanging in P2 and the pace was really, really good. I think I was catching up to Rinus (VeeKay). I think we boxed maybe two laps early and I caught the pack, and I couldn’t make it through. The pace was good, but there was nowhere to go. With about 30 laps to go, my hands started to fall apart, and it was quite difficult to turn. It was an experience. I think we had good pace, especially on the blacks. What a race. We ran in the Top-3 for almost 30 laps, so that was mega.”
Team owner Brad Hollinger commented saying:
“I thought the outcome today was quite good. While we didn’t have the pace towards the end, we thought we would have, we really expected our fuel consumption would be better than the others and it turned out it was not. So, we ended up 19th, which was where we started. Finishing a race is great, since it is the first of our season. We placed in the Top-20 which I am happy with that. Our pit stops were excellent, and the team worked really well together. We had excellent communication and great team spirit. I would say it was an A all the way around and our pace will be better over the next few events.”
Team owner Ricardo Juncos commented saying:
I am very happy to finish our first full time schedule race with our new team and Callum Ilott. I was very impressed with everyone in the team. Everyone on the team from the mechanics, to engineers, driver, and everyone else who makes up Juncos Hollinger Racing did a fantastic job all weekend. We have worked so hard over the winter to get ready to show up the way we wanted to as a full-time team for the first event of the year. We had the speed, running as high as P2 among a field of such high competition. We gambled with our strategy and yellow flags, which didn’t end up in our favor, but the fact that we were able to show the pace to be at the top shows we have a lot of potential to go further this season. We have a long way to go and the fact that we are the only one car team and not having the experience of other teams goes against us, but I am confident that despite these factors we will continue to make gains each step of the way. We feel strong as a group, and I am looking forward to continuing our strong momentum into the rest of our first full season in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.