Juncos Racing: Cooper Tires Winterfest Concludes at Barber
 March 2, 2015| 
  • Team News
Birmingham, Ala. – Juncos Racing fought a tough battle this week in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires during the final races of the 2015 Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship at Barber Motorsports Park. Garett Grist took home a top-five finish in Race 2 and rookie Will Owen earned his first pole in the Pro Mazda series.

Day one of the Cooper Tires Winterfest at Barber Motorsports Park ended early due to inclement weather, canceling qualifying for Race 1 and postponing all track activity to the following day on the 2.3 mile, 17-turn road course. The starting grid for Race 1 was set by points received from the first three races of Winterfest at NOLA Motorsports Park (North). Race 1 completed only 10 minutes of green flag running due to an incident on the first lap involving #23 AMR car of Will Owen and Nicholas Latifi (M1 Racing). Owen sustained little damage and went back on track, three laps down, to set the fastest lap of the race with a 1:22.375. Teammates Timothé Buret driving the #6 BroadSign car finished just outside the top five in sixth, Garett Grist in the #5 Lander Property Management car took seventh, and José Gutiérrez driver of the #7 Primsa car finished eighth.

The 2015 Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship concluded with Race 2 at Barber Motorsports Park, a double points race due to the cancelation of Race 3. Owen made his first start from the pole position in the Pro Mazda series by recording the fastest lap in Race 1 earlier that day. Race 2 got off to a rough start for Owen when the #23 went off track, sending him to the back of the pack. After making his way back into the field, Owen went off track halfway through the race and was unable to continue, finishing eight laps down. Fellow rookie Timothé Buret had an impressive race running in the top five, however contact on the last restart caused the #6 car to fall back, finishing ninth. Garett Grist made the biggest move in the field, starting ninth in the #5 car to finish fifth. José Gutiérrez took seventh in the #7 car.

Juncos Racing Team Owner Ricardo Juncos was pleased with the progress all drivers made in the short pre-season championship and looks forward to taking their skills to the next level with the start of the 2015 Pro Mazda Championship next month. Juncos Racing concludes the 2015 Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship taking home two podiums, six top-fives and one pole position to finish third in the Team Championship.

“We learned a lot these past two weeks during the Winterfest Championship,” said Juncos. “Even when the drivers and crew were faced with tough situations, everyone showed a lot of determination and focused to finish strong in each race. We have a strong line-up this season and I am confident we will be battling for another championship when the season gets underway next month.”

Driver Quotes:
Timothé Buret (Montpellier, France)
: “The Barber Motorsport event was positive although it is not reflected on the results I received. It was important to avoid all the troubles on the track as the conditions were difficult with rain and extremely low temperatures. I was able to do so and to improve my pace throughout the two-race event and be closer to the leaders. I know what I need work on to be totally ready by St. Petersburg, where I hope to finish strong."

Garett Grist (Grimsby, Ontario, Canada): “Barber was an up and down week for us with the first day being canceled due to weather we had to start by championship points. This meant I had to start far back because of being taken out at Nola. That put us in a hole from the start. I was able to go from 10th to fifth in the second race. But still lacking the pace I need. I'll continue to work with the team to improve.” 

José Gutiérrez (Monterrey, Mexico): “The Winterfest was a learning experience for me. I treated it just like a test but with more cars. I learned a lot of things, both the hard way and the good way. Now i know what i need  practice on and prepare for the start of the 2015 Championship. This will be a very intense and competitive year, and i'm definitely looking forward to it!”

Will Owen (Castle Rock, Colo.): “The Winterfest was an awesome experience overall and it shows that we will be competing at the top this year. I still have to get better at racing, but the quality of drivers in this series is so high that I have a lot of experience to learn from.  I never thought I would be as quick as I was at Winterfest. That is very exciting and It makes me just want to work harder between races. I have to thank all the Juncos and Speed Group guys because they work so hard and have made me feel so welcome.  This year is set up to be great and I can't wait to see what is coming.”

The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires kicks off the 2015 season March 28-29 on the Streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. For more information please visit juncosracing.com and promazdachampionship.com.

About Juncos Racing: Ricardo Juncos, a second generation and former Formula Renault driver, grew up with a deep passion and desire for racing. At the age of 14, Juncos made his first steps in the racing community driving karts in Argentina. Through his success in karts Juncos was able to join the Formula Renault class competing throughout South America. After funding became difficult as many drivers experience over their career, Juncos began working for many race teams in order to continue his own racing career. During this time Juncos was able to learn all aspects of the car in and out, along with schooling in mechanical and electrical engineering. Stationed in Buenos Aires, Argentina and headed by Ricardo Juncos, in 1997 “Juncos Racing” became a full-service Formula Racing team. By 2003, the team relocated to Miami, Florida as a full-service karting team.  During the first few years in the U.S., the team picked up 19 local, regional, and national karting titles. Juncos Racing moved operations north to Indiana, where they developed into a formula open-wheel racing team in 2008. The team went into full swing dedicating most of the time preparing drivers and crew members for the next level in racing. Following this transitional year, Juncos Racing participated in its first open-wheel series, in the 2009 Star Mazda Championship - INDYCAR’s Mazda Road to Indy ladder series. 2010 proved to be a big year for the team with driver Conor Daly capturing the driver championship and finishing second in the team Star Mazda Championship. By 2012, the team’s operations expanded to include cars in the Firestone Indy Lights series and even recorded the fastest lap of the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That same year Juncos Racing took second in the Star Mazda team championship and third driver in the championship with driver Conner De Phillippi while Diego Ferreria was awarded “Most Improved Driver of the Year.” Juncos Racing continued their run in the Pro Mazda Championship (former Star Mazda Championship) finishing second in the 2013 team championship. Most recently the team finished one of their most successful years winning the driver championship, with Spencer Pigot, and the team championship in both the Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship and 2014 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. The team operates of out Brownsburg, Indiana.
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