Ricardo Juncos says he’s confident of his team being on the grid in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship one way or another next year, following a challenging rookie season in sports car racing.
The accomplished open-wheel outfit makes its first start in this weekend’s season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans since Victor Franzoni’s massive accident at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in July that ultimately sidelined the team’s Cadillac DPi effort since.
Will Owen, who was slated for a full-season program in Juncos Racing’s Cadillac DPi-V.R, has been rejoined by Rene Binder, with IndyCar driver Spencer Pigot completing the lineup this weekend.
“For me, this year was a big learning process,” Juncos told Sportscar365. “Everything was new, 100 percent. I think we did a good job recovering from situations.
“Even after the crash, the [new] car was ready to go for Road America. But we couldn’t find a second driver to be with Will Owen so we said, ‘Maybe it’s time to regroup and come back here stronger.’
“The addition of Spencer Pigot is big. He’s a big name and a big part of the [Juncos Racing] family for many years. I’m very happy for this weekend.”
In addition to a brand-new Cadillac DPi chassis, the Argentinean has recruited a number of his open-wheel crew for this race, which he said has helped contribute to a step forward in their performance this weekend.
“Pretty much 50 percent of the team is different now,” Juncos said.
“The fact that we didn’t do the last two races allowed us to go to the Pro Mazda guys, Indy Lights guys, who have been working with us for a long time.
“I think it’s running very well so I’m very happy with the team members.”
Multiple Options Under Consideration for 2020
Juncos said he’s exploring multiple options for the team’s return in 2020, admitting that a focus on the Michelin Endurance Cup races could end up being a “better program” for them as a whole.
“We can do Daytona-only, maybe the full season, maybe the endurance races,” he said. “We’re trying to find the best way for us as a new team with not many sponsor prospects at the moment.
“It’s a brand-new car so the car will just be one race old after this weekend. I’m positive we’ll make it happen. Daytona is around the corner now so we need to react quickly.
“We have a lot of options and a lot of drivers that want to do it but it’s about finding the numbers.
“There is also some potential sponsors that need to materialize in the next month.”
Juncos said if they end up doing a full season, it will be a “totally different” situation to this year, which he feels they weren’t initially prepared for.
“If we do the endurance-only, I think we can run a better program because it will allow us to prep properly,” he said.
“It’s big. This is intense. This is the top level so for us to jump into the full season we need to have everything right.
“We didn’t this year and what happened for us was probably a consequence of that.”