Franzoni Completes Indy Pro Mazda Sweep

Victor Franzoni swept the Pro Mazda events on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Grand Prix circuit. (Al Steinberg Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS – Victor Franzoni ensured a banner weekend for himself and the Juncos Racing team by sweeping both Pro Mazda races on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Grand Prix circuit.

After winning Friday’s opener, Franzoni completed the sweep with a victory Saturday morning on the 2.439-mile circuit. Franzoni was never seriously threatened Saturday morning in cool and sunny conditions, finishing a full 1.0798 seconds clear of Team Pelfrey’s T.J. Fischer.

Fischer’s teammate, Carlos Cunha, finished a comfortable third ahead of Australian’s Anthony Martin, who had led the point standings coming into this weekend after sweeping both races at St. Petersburg, Fla., in March.

Franzoni set the tone Friday morning by earningthe bonus point for pole position in qualifying. Unlike Friday, where he got off to a poor start from the pole, Franzoni was able to maintain his advantage from the pole into turn one to hold the lead. From there, he was on cruise control as he sped to victory.

“It was a perfect weekend. I knew the Juncos team would have a really good setup here so it was important for us to be ready – and it was the best car ever,” said Franzoni. “It was a machine; it was so easy to drive. All I had to do was focus and drive fast. I had a much better start today than yesterday and was happy to keep the lead at the start – with the long straight, it’s so easy to draft on someone. I am so happy to get the win. This happened at the end of last year in USF2000 where I had a perfect weekend, and now to get it here means so much. I so appreciate the opportunity Juncos has given me, and the car they gave me today. I hope we can keep this going. We’ll work really hard to do that and I hope next year I can be with them on the next step.”

After finishing third in each of the first three races of the season, Fischer exited the tight first corner in the same position he had started, second, and soon began to edge clear of teammate Cunha to secure a career-best finish.

Cunha, similarly, was under no real threat from Martin, who instead was kept honest by the third Team Pelfrey car of Nikita Lastochkin. The Australian managed to reduce a deficit of over three seconds to Cunha to around 1.2 seconds between laps 11 and 16, but that was as close as he got before Cunha edged clear once more to secure his first podium finish.

The finish:

Victor Franzoni, T.J. Fischer, Carlos Cunha, Anthony Martin, Nikita Lastochkin, Phillippe Denes, Sting Ray Robb, Bobby Eberle, Matt Machiko, Kevin Davis, Brendan Puderbach, Steven Ford, Jeff Green, Bob Kaminsky, Charles Finelli.