Juncos Hollinger Racing’s Callum Ilott in the No.77 Chevrolet scored his career-best result in the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg presented by RP Funding. The Englishman started the 100-lap race from 22nd place and came home in fifth place and speaking following the race, he commented saying:
“P5 really wasn’t what I was expecting. St. Pete was probably one of our weakest races last year so to come in and improve like we have is amazing. We had a tough Saturday, but starting P22 and coming all the way to P5 was great. It wasn’t an easy race and I had to take it fairly easy because there were lots of people making mistakes – especially on the restarts. But I managed to keep it clean, avoid the incidents and get some overtakes done. I’m super happy and big thanks to everyone in the team that did an amazing job.”
Agustin Canapino made his NTT INDYCAR SERIES race debut in the No.78 Chevrolet and started the event from 21st place, having out-qualified his teammate Callum Ilott. The Argentinian managed to avoid the first-lap incident and came home in 12th place, just behind fellow rookie Marcus Armstrong of Chip Ganassi Racing.
Speaking following the race, he commented saying:
“I’m really happy to have finished P12, on the lead lap and with a good pace, especially at the end. For me it was an enormous challenge, more than 2h 30m in the car with huge temperatures and driving the most demanding racing car in the world. I can’t believe how everything came together. I suffered in the restarts with cold tires and with my physical condition, but I’m happy I could manage these things to finish. Massive thanks to the whole team for a fantastic weekend. It’s one I’ll remember for a long time.”
Team co-owner and Team Principal Ricardo Juncos was delighted with the outcome for the team, saying:
This was by far the best weekend in the history of our team in INDYCAR. It was an outstanding performance by Callum and Agustín.
“Most importantly for me and Brad [Hollinger] as joint team owners, is seeing how hard everyone’s worked since the last race in 2022 to the first race in 2023. It’s been a massive undertaking for everyone. We have a great group of people and we couldn’t be prouder of them. This is the result of everyone working together with the same passion and philosophy. Thanks to all the team members and our sponsors. They make everything possible.
“This is the beginning of a new adventure for Juncos Hollinger Racing and I think the results we’ve taken from St. Pete give us a great platform to establish a very solid racing team.