Star Mazda - Juncos Racing Canada Bound For Doubleheader At Trois-Rivières
Trois-Rivières, August 1, 2011: Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear team Juncos Racing will be Canada bound once again this weekend for rounds seven and eight of this season's first and only doubleheader race weekend in Trois-Rivières, Quebec. With two full-points races at stake, the widely popular street course event may very well be a turning point for Juncos Racing in the 2011 championship, especially considering only three races will remain following the weekend. The team recently achieved their first victory this season with driver J.V. Horto at Mosport International Raceway, coming out of the midway-point with a big boost of confidence-and championship points.
The victory was Horto's first career win in the series and a considerable acceleration in his championship hunt. With 202 points, the Brazilian racer is currently scored as fourth in the drivers' championship with just a 15 point difference from him to first place's Tristan Vautier. With a large amount of points up for grabs this weekend, Horto hopes to collect enough to leave Quebec in serious contention for the championship title.
J.V. Horto on GP3R: "I'm very happy to go back to Trois-Rivières again. The circuit is such a unique and challenging place, and all the fans make everything even more beautiful. I'm really looking forward to racing there with Juncos Racing this year, and thanks to the Mazda Road to Indy program, we are able to race at the same place as the Firestone Indy Lights Series which is our next step on the development ladder to the IZOD IndyCar Series.
"I'm really confident after winning at Mosport a couple of weeks ago. My team and I are going to keep working very hard, and God willing, we will fight for another great result at Trois-Rivières. We are a lot closer to the lead in the championship points, and we want to keep our momentum going in this doubleheader race weekend."
Teammate Tatiana Calderon of Bogota, Colombia joined Horto on the podium with her third place finish at Mosport International Raceway on July 24. The result was the 18-year-old's second career podium finish (both were earned this year) and a match for her best finish in the Star Mazda Championship. With two well-deserved podiums to her credit, a very determined Calderon will most certainly be chasing her maiden win in this weekend's two-race competition.
Tatiana Calderon on GP3R: "I am really looking forward to coming back to Trois-Rivières, especially after the great race that I had in Mosport. My expectations for myself are really high now. By the end of the race here last year, I had really improved my driving and was feeling really comfortable with the car, so hopefully we can continue this year from where we left off last year. I still have a lot to learn, but I am sure we will be competitive in the race here. It is going to be an interesting weekend as we only have one practice session before we qualify, so it will be important to have a good plan in place which I am sure the Juncos Racing team will. Having two races, we will definitely have to be giving 100 percent of ourselves all weekend.
"The atmosphere at the Grand-Prix Trois-Rivières is so great. There are always so many fans that come out to support the event, and the city and food are great. This would be a great place to catch another good result, and I just can't wait to start driving on Friday."
The third member of the Juncos Racing driver lineup, Gustavo Menezes, will experience the historic streets of the Grand-Prix Trois-Rivières for the first time this weekend. Even though this is the go-karting star's first season racing cars, he has done nothing but impress this year with a highest finish of third and a lowest of eighth. The 16-year-old's competitive spirit will undoubtedly drive him to challenge for another podium finish-or a win-and hopefully, bring home a 1-2-3 finish for the Juncos Racing team.
Gustavo Menezes on GP3R: "I've had a great overall season this far. The guys at Juncos Racing have really helped me improve a lot throughout the season, and I feel like I can be really competitive at the Grand-Prix Trois-Rivières. This will be my first time racing there, and I can't wait. We will definitely be pushing very hard for another podium finish or even a win, and the extra exciting thing is that we have two chances to do that.
"I can't wait to get to Trois-Rivières and get on track. I've heard a lot about what a great event it is, so I'm really excited to get there and see what I can do."
After completing the first six races of the season and gathering a pole position and two second place finishes, Chilean racer Martin Scuncio has stepped out of the 2011 Star Mazda Championship.
Statement from Martin Scuncio: "First of all, I want to thank Juncos Racing for the great opportunity they have given me this season. They did a great job all year, and they are such an amazing team to be a part of. In fact, I really think they are the best team for a driver to learn from and win races and the championship with. They have great people, a great coach, and for a driver, that's all you need to be competitive.
"Stepping out of the 2011 championship was a very difficult decision made by me and my family. I am so regretful this had to happen now, especially when the team and I were fighting for the championship, but I hope everyone can understand that it was a conflicting and deeply personal decision for me. Once again, I really want to thank Juncos Racing for everything they have taught me during the year. I know they are going to continue to succeed this season and fight hard for their second championship title."