INDIANAPOLIS – Juncos Racing officials announced Thursday that 2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni will return to the team for the Indy Lights Championship.
Franzoni is the first driver to commit to the reigning 2017 Indy Lights Champion team.
Franzoni rejoins Juncos Racing after winning the 2017 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, where he captured five poles and seven wins. Franzoni’s incredible 2017 season with the team began only four days before the championship kicked off on the streets of St. Petersburg.
The year concluded with one of the tightest point battles, as Franzoni would go on to win both races at Watkins-Glen International Raceway, securing the necessary points to claim the championship.
“I am so happy to be back with Juncos Racing”, said Franzoni. “We had an amazing year last year and I could not have won the Pro Mazda Championship without all of their support and hard work. We went into each race with such focus and knowing that if anything happened on track it could end the season. After our amazing experience last year, I am confident we will be successful in the Indy Lights Championship. I would like to thank everyone on the team, my family, Mazda, Cooper Tires, and Andersen Promotions for helping me make this possible.”
By winning the Pro Mazda Championship, Franzoni was awarded a Mazda Scholarship supplying him with the funds needed to advance to the Indy Lights Championship.
Mazda Motorsports Director John Doonan said, “When Victor claimed the 2017 Pro Mazda Championship, he firmly stated that the Mazda Road to Indy is not just about the financial support Mazda provides…but it is about ‘hope’ for young drivers. No better words could describe the purpose of the Mazda Road to Indy…and Victor is and will continue to be a prime example of why our brand has invested in this program for over ten years. We wish Victor much success in 2018 as he climbs one step closer to IndyCar via our Mazda program and we are grateful for the continued support of Andersen Promotions, Cooper Tires, and IndyCar as we collectively make driver dreams a reality.”
Team Owner Ricardo Juncos said, “I am so happy to have Victor with us for the 2018 season. I have always seen a lot of myself in him. At times, life puts you in very difficult situations and there are no other options than to succeed with zero margins of error. This kid knows a lot about this and he is willing to do whatever it takes to succeed and I absolutely love that. I have no doubt that he will be a contender for the Indy Lights Championship. I have 100% confidence and trust in the crew behind Victor and look forward to the start of the season.”
Franzoni will turn in his first laps behind the wheel of the No. 23 Mazda/Juncos Racing car in the 2018 Indy Lights Championship this week at the Mazda Road To Indy Official Series test at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Indy Lights drivers will spend one-day testing on the 1.5 mile oval and one day on the 2.21 mile, 14-turn roadcourse.
Juncos Racing became the first team during the 2017 season to win both the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Indy Lights Championship in the same year.
The 2018 Indy Lights championship kicks off March 9-11 on the Streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.