Star Mazda - J.V. Horto Leads Thursday Testing, Menezes Close Second, Calderon Improves Personal Best
Monterey, September 16, 2011: In today's promoter tests, it was the #7 Juncos Racing/Programa Leiloes/Athlete of Christ/Oakley car of J.V. Horto that led both official sessions at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. In this morning's session, Horto was the only driver to make it under the one minute twenty-two second mark with a best lap time of 1:21.689, and in the afternoon, he topped the time sheets again with an overall best lap time of 1:21.198. Coming in a close second overall for the day was teammate Gustavo Menezes with a best lap time of 1:21.387, giving Juncos Racing the top two quickest spots of the day.
J.V. Horto on testing: "I am very happy for the Juncos Racing team. We have had a really good season so far, and I'm just really enjoying the time here at the last race. I'm very confident after today. I really like the track, and the team has been good here the past two years with Conor (Daly) and Peter (Dempsey), so it should be a great weekend. We still have room to improve, so we are going to make sure we perfect all of the details. Once again, I am so happy. Thank you to everyone on Juncos Racing and also Programa Leiloes, Athlete of Christ, and Oakley."
Gustavo Menezes on testing: "Today was definitely a great day. We did well in both practice sessions, and I was able to pick up track quickly. I ended up third in the first session and improved in the second session to second. I was running first until J.V. (Horto) got me at the end. If anyone was going to pass me, I'm glad it was him! The car is strong, and we just have some fine tuning to do in the next two practice sessions tomorrow. The team has done great here in the past, and they have good memories here, so we have to keep them going. It's a great start to the weekend, and we are going to keep pushing so that we can still be at the top on Sunday. Great job to J.V. today, and hopefully Tatiana (Calderon) can get up there and make it a 1-2-3 weekend for Juncos Racing. Thank you to TRUECar, Juncos Racing, and everyone else who is supporting me."
For Tatiana Calderon, today's testing was a major improvement from last season. Her best time in the first on-track session today was half a second faster than her overall best lap time here in her 2010 rookie season, and her best time of the day was nearly a second and a half better. The accomplishment is one that undoubtedly displays her ongoing development with Juncos Racing in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear. Calderon's best lap time today of 1:22.111 landed her seventh quickest of the day.
Tatiana Calderon on testing: "Today went really well for me. I did a better time in my first session today than I did at all here last year! It was great to be there right away because it's been a year and a half since I've been on this track, so I feel like I have improved a lot since then. Overall, I'm happy for both myself and the team for being 1-2 today. I want to be there, too, and hopefully we will by the end of the weekend. I'm really looking forward to driving again tomorrow!"