Juncos, Exclusive Round Out Driver Line-ups
Ahead of the Mazda Road to Indy Spring Training at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Juncos Racing and Exclusive Autosport completed their driver line-ups for the 2018 campaign.
Juncos Racing welcomes Alfonso Celis Jr. to their team, as he will chase after the 2018 Indy Lights Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.
“I’m very excited to be joining Juncos Racing for the 2018 Indy Lights Championship presented by Cooper Tires,” he said. “I have known the team for a long time and it was finally time to do something together. The Indy Lights championship has proven to be very competitive and I’m confident that with my experience and with the success that the Juncos team has had we should be able to be a contender for the championship right away. Being in IndyCar has always been something I’ve dreamed of. I grew up watching the series from Mexico and this will be a great step towards that goal. I can’t wait to be on top of the podium with the Mexican flag on my shoulders!”
The Mexican joins the defending champions following a success in the World Series Formula V8, where he placed third in the year-end points standings. He also played the role of Reserve Driver for Sahara Force India Formula 1 for the past two years.
Team Owner Ricardo Juncos said, “I am thrilled to bring Alfonso (Celis) on board for our 2018 Indy Lights team. He has incredible talent behind the wheel, which we first had the chance to see when he tested with our team in the Pro Mazda car back in 2013. Alfonso brings a lot of experience to the series after spending most of his time running in open-wheel series throughout Europe and he was even a Formula One reserve driver for Sahara Force India. I am confident he will be a top contender this year for the championship. I want to thank Alfonso, his management team, and family for committing to our team for the 2018 season.”
Meanwhile, Exclusive Autosport signed Antonio Serravalle to drive their second PM-18 entry for the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.
“We’re extremely excited to begin our first season in the Pro Mazda Championship, and I’m pleased to bring Antonio into the EA program to present a two-car effort in 2018,” enthused Michael Duncalfe, Team Principal. “It will be good for us to have two streams of data and as a team owner, I’m also very excited to watch Antonio push himself to develop in this competitive landscape. Even though he’s just 15, he’s run high-level international and national karting events and series for many years where the pressure is intense, and I believe that he has the experience necessary to take up this challenge.”
Since beginning in karting at the age of five, the Canadian has won several karting championships in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Most recently this past year, the 15-year-old won F Series title in the KZ class – the international formula for gearbox karting – and was also crowned the Canadian KZ champion.
“I’m extremely excited about joining Exclusive Autosport in Pro Mazda for the 2018 season,” offered Serravalle. “It’s an all-Canadian team and they seem to be on the way up at a quick rate. It will be a great challenge for me to move up to cars and jump right into Pro Mazda, which is something that my father has made me used to by now as I’m always moving up to higher class as soon as he sees that I’ve been quick enough to win. We tested a USF2000 car at Homestead but my karting focus has been the KZ shifter kart class this year, so we felt that the car may be a little slow for my driving style. Michael (Duncalfe) gave me a great opportunity to join his team with Parker as a teammate. The team also has a really good top engineer in Tim Lewis, and I know that he will get the most out of the new PM-18. I’ve tested the car; it’s amazingly stable and quick, so I’m looking forward to St.Pete.”
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