Juncos Racing picked up two more podiums in the 2016 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires in Rounds 12 and 13 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Will Owen took home a second and third place finish in the Royal Purple Pro Mazda Grand Prix of Mid- Ohio, earning Juncos Racing their thirteenth podium this season.
The second step in the Mazda Road to Indy ladder series began the weekend with three practice sessions on the 2.258 mile, 13-Turn road course located just north of Columbus, Ohio. All three Juncos cars showed great pace in a tight field. The series returned the following day for one practice session before qualifying. Will Owen took the top qualifying position for the team, starting third for Round 12. Teammate Jake Parsons qualified fourth and rookie Nicolas Dapero took the sixth position.
Round 12 went caution free for the entire 23 lap race. Owen claimed his first podium of the weekend, taking third in the #23 AMR car. Parsons finished just off the podium in fourth and Dapero took fifth.
Later that day the weekend concluded with a thrilling Round 13. Drivers faced wet and dry conditions throughout the 40 minute timed race. Owen had one of his best starts of the season battling for the lead during the first few laps. The young American maintained second for the rest of the race, earning his second podium that day. Parsons, driving the #00 Smart Minds Institute car did not end the day as planned after a punctured tire caused him to fall back in the field, finishing seventh. Argentinean Dapero, driving the #31 Federal Seguros car finished eighth.
Team Principle Ricardo Juncos said “we have grown a lot this season through many ups and downs. This weekend at Mid-Ohio we experienced both lows and highs, but I am thrilled for Will (Owen) taking two more podiums this season. He drove one of the best races since joining the team last year, and I am happy to see him take charge and be more aggressive on track. Our rookies Jake (Parsons) and Nico (Dapero) really pushed themselves this past weekend. Even though they didn’t end up with a podium, they both showed great pace and stayed focus despite issues faced on track. We are going work hard this coming month, in preparing for the final three races of the season at Mazda Raceway. Thank you to all of the sponsors and families for joining us at the track this weekend. We couldn’t do all of this without their support.”
Nicolas Dapero (Buenos Aires, Argentina):”It was a great weekend. I learned a lot with the team and gained a lot of knowledge about the car with the changes made and their effect on the car. Even though my results did not show that I am still pleased with what we gained this weekend. I’ve been doing my best to apply all of the knowledge and feedback the team is giving me to on the track. I will keep working hard as always and I am really looking forward to Laguna Seca. I want to thank my team Juncos Racing, Mazda, Cooper Tires.”
Will Owen (Castle Rock, Colorado, USA): “All I can say right now is I had the time of my life. Qualifying went well, as we qualified third. We just didn’t have enough to take the pole, but it was very close. Race 1 was good for us. I pushed hard and finished third. The second race of the weekend was just amazing. The rain made it very interesting and even the playing field. It was crazy racing with a lot of contact being made throughout the race. I’ve got to thank all of the sponsors of course, Mazda, and Cooper Tire.”
Jake Parsons (Melbourne, Australia): “This was my first race at Mid-Ohio. I really enjoyed the track. It’s a lot of fun to come to a track like this as a driver with all of the elevation changes. Our track pace was good, we really improved each day and each session we got better. We were competitive in qualifying and we learned a lot in the technical side with the changes we were making. I learned a lot as a driver in the skills and also in working with the Smart Mind Institute. I feel like I made some really good steps forward mentally as a driver too. So in all I am happy with the weekend. The races could have gone better for us, but we still managed to get fourth in the first race. Unfortunately in the second race we had a tire punctured. We will take the positives away from the weekend and knowledge we gained to use for the final races at Mazda Raceway.”
The 2016 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires concludes September 9th-11th with the final three rounds at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. For more information please visit juncosracing.com and promazdachampionship.com