Star Mazda - Juncos Racing Ends Open Practice First And Second with Scuncio and Menezes
Newton, June 23, 2011: Martin Scuncio, 19, and Gustavo Menezes, 16, of Juncos Racing secured the top two fastest lap times of today's four-hour open practice session with just over one hundredth of a second separating them. The result was especially fulfilling for two particular reasons; the team is still looking for its first win of 2011, and they have won the pole and the race at this event for the past two years (with Peter Dempsey in 2009 and with Conor Daly in 2010). The exciting scenario sets up a highly anticipated race weekend for the Juncos Racing crew.
Martin Scuncio on open practice: "The car was very good. It was a great day, and even though the weather wasn't that great, the car was perfect. I think we all did a great job, and I have to say a huge thank you to Juncos Racing for giving me such a great car. I hope we can continue to come in first place and be at the top again tomorrow and Saturday."
Gustavo Menezes on open practice: "Today was really good. I was really happy with the car. It surprised me that I was able to be flat out after five laps, and as soon as I got comfortable, the car just got quicker and quicker. It was really consistent throughout day which is really good to know going into the race. We played around and got a lot of things tested out today, so we know where we are for the race. Tomorrow, we will work on fine tuning and keeping ourselves in P1 and P2 and hopefully P3 and P4!"
Finishing the day with the seventh overall fastest lap time was the No. 7 Juncos Racing/Programa Leiloes car of J.V. Horto. Horto used the day to get a feel for the track and the car and try different tactics for the race. The 20-year-old Brazilian had a very successful run at this track last year, qualifying second and finishing third in the race, so it's safe to say he has more good things in store for the weekend.
J.V. Horto on open practice: "First of all, I'm really happy for my teammates finishing first and second today. It was a good practice day for me overall. I was able to feel the car in traffic and try different lines for the race which was a good experience going into the weekend. I did my best lap at the end of the session today, so I know I have more I can improve on. The great thing about having such talented teammates is that we all work together and share data and videos, so I can get some tips from them. We are also going to make some changes for tomorrow, so we will see how it goes."
Tatiana Calderon did not have as positive a day as her teammates did. After crashing at the Milwaukee Mile last weekend, the 18-year-old's confidence was starting to come back this afternoon as she was easily topping her personal track record on this track right at the start of the day. The success didn't last long, however; as she came around a corner, she felt the car snap out from underneath her, and she hit the wall hard, ending her day. The team is working hard to repair the damage and get Calderon back out in the field for the rest of the weekend.
Tatiana Calderon on open practice: "I was feeling better today and gaining back the confidence I had lost after crashing in Milwaukee, and I was also doing better lap times than I did here last year right at the beginning of the day. Then, I don't know what happened, but the car just snapped, and I lost it and hit the wall. What can I say, that's racing; sometimes things like this happen, and you just have to keep going. The team is working hard to fix the car for tomorrow, so I want to thank them for that. Hopefully everything will be ready to go again for tomorrow."