Juncos Racing Pre-Season Private Testing Report
Vero Beach, Fla. (January 31, 2011) - Having filled every seat of the defending champions' four-car effort by the end of December, Juncos Racing began its preparations for the 2011 season with three private test sessions on three different tracks starting the first week in January. The "boot camp" style testing regimen allowed all four drivers-Tatiana Calderon, Joao Horto, Gustavo Menezes and Martin Scuncio-to fully focus on developing both their skills and racecars for three consecutive weeks while also allowing the new team the opportunity to become acclimated with one another before the season gets underway.
The testing schedule began in Florida at Sebring International Raceway, followed by Homestead Miami Speedway and ended at Roebling Road in Bloomingdale, Georgia, providing the team and drivers with a well-rounded collection of information to take into the 2011 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear.
Tatiana Calderon on testing: "Testing was great. I think we are much more prepared for this season than we were last year at this time. Last year, we only had the chance to test at Sebring for a few days before the start of the season. Having the opportunity to test on three different tracks, even though we are not racing at any of them, gave me the chance not only to test the car and improve on the feedback from the car, but also to improve some of my driving skills. All the test sessions were really helpful in understanding the way the team works even more, and I feel like I have an even better and closer relationship with everyone on the team now.
"We tested a lot of things in the car that will help us during the season. There are still many things to learn and improve, but we have the base now. We also had the chance to drive in the rain which was a great experience for me considering that last year the only rainy session we had was qualifying at Autobahn Country Club. The team did a great job as always. Now, I am looking forward to the next test at Barber Motorsports Park which will be a new track for me. I will be sitting in front of the computer trying to learn the track by driving on my racing simulator and of course watching some onboard videos. Now more than ever I will be training in the gym every day since I am doing the online program with Jim Leo of PitFit. I can't wait to see the team and be back in the car again!"
Joao Horto on testing: "Pre-season testing went really well for me. I was able to get to know the environment and learn how Juncos Racing works as a team. It allowed me to build a relationship with all of my new team members which will help all of us have good results in the 2011 season and in the future.
"Since it is so easy to lose physical shape, I have been training since the end of the 2010 season so I would be ready for these pre-season tests and the upcoming races. I've also been doing some sports to help my reflexes and training on my racing simulator to learn new tracks and work on my feedback. I'm really looking forward to the start of the season."
Gustavo Menezes on testing: "These test days were definitely crucial for me. Since I have had so little time in the Star Mazda racecar, every day of testing helps me improve and gain experience. I think the tests went very well for me and showed that we have a lot of good things coming this season. All the drivers on the team were quick, and we worked really well together.
"To prepare for the 2011 season, I have been going to the gym a lot so I can be ready for the first race in St. Petersburg. I am also spending a lot of time on racing simulators to get more track time on every track. I cannot wait until the season starts, and I think we will have a lot to show when it comes."
Martin Scuncio on testing: "Testing went really well. I am so happy with the team. I learned new things about the car throughout the three weeks of testing, and I was definitely able to improve my driving skills. On one hand, it's a shame we will not be able to do private testing on any of the tracks we will be racing on, but on the other hand it's nice because we will have more competitive drivers in the series as a result.
"I will be training at home for the whole month of February, both mentally and physically, to be ready for the official test at Barber Motorsports Park and also for the first race in St. Petersburg. I'm also going to be doing a lot of driving on racing simulators to learn the tracks and be prepared for this year. Thanks to all of the Juncos Racing team members for the great pre-season testing!"
Ricardo Juncos, Team Owner on testing: "I'm so happy our pre-season testing went the way it did. We were really able to work in harmony with this new group of drivers which was great. They really get along very well together, and you can see already that the whole team has a fantastic energy and a high level of commitment for the 2011 season.
"I want to thank all my drivers and crew members for all the hard work they've done during the holidays and also congratulate them on their success with the pre-season testing we did. We are all excited about this coming season and the new Mazda Road to Indy program that's in place now. It's even better than it was before, and I personally think it is a great opportunity for everyone that will give a prosperous future to not just drivers but teams as well."
Up next for Juncos Racing is the first official test of the 2011 Star Mazda Championship at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama March 14-16. Following the test will be the first race of the season alongside the IZOD IndyCar Series on the Streets of St. Petersburg March 27. The team will use the time until then to prepare the racecars for competition using the information they were able to gather from private testing, and the drivers will use the time to prepare themselves both mentally and physically to pilot those racecars to victory.
-source: juncos racing