CHANGING HORSES -- STAR MAZDA CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS LEADER PETER DEMPSEY SWITCHES TEAMS, SIGNS WITH JUNCOS RACING FOR MILWAUKEE AND BEYOND Milwaukee Mile, West Allis, WI (June 19, 2009) -- Juncos Racing today announced the signing of Irish driver...
CHANGING HORSES -- STAR MAZDA CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS LEADER PETER DEMPSEY SWITCHES TEAMS, SIGNS WITH JUNCOS RACING FOR MILWAUKEE AND BEYOND
Milwaukee Mile, West Allis, WI (June 19, 2009) -- Juncos Racing today announced the signing of Irish driver Peter Dempsey, the current points leader in the 2009 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, to drive for the team this weekend at the Milwaukee Mile and test with the team next week at Iowa Speedway. Arrangements for the remainder of the 2009 season are being worked out and will be announced shortly. This weekend, Dempsey will race the #3 Juncos Racing / Hooters car normally driver by Master Series competitor Walt Bowlin; the car will also carry the logos of the companies that helped Dempsey get where he is so far this season, the Irish Sports Council and Queyside.ie.
"Last year was tough financially, but this year has been especially difficult; I've been on a race-to-race basis with AIM, scrambling to put enough sponsorship together to do the next race and never having enough money to test," says the personable young driver from Ashbourne, County Meath, Ireland. "It was hardto leaveAIM, butunfortunately they weren't in the position to keep me on board for the whole season; they've treated me very well, and I have great respect for Keith Willis. That said, when Ricardo Juncos came to me with this offer, I knew it was a great opportunity for meto carry on my career. The Juncos Racing team is young, this is their first season, but they're very professional.JThey have good funding and big plans for the future, and their 16 year-old driver, Michael Furfari, turned the fastest lap at this track in series testing a few weeks ago. I'm really looking forward to this first weekend with Juncos Racing. With no oval experience, it's going to be challenging, but I will try to learn as much as possible from Michael and the team and make sure we bring the car home with solid championship points."
Dempsey won four Star Mazda Championship races in 2008, including three in a row, driving for Andersen Racing in 2008; he ultimately finished third in the championship. He switched to AIM Autosport, the team that won the championship with American racer John Edwards, during the off-season and won Round Two at Virginia International Raceway and finished second at Miller Motorsports Park. Despite a difficult outing last weekend at the Star Mazda double-header at New Jersey Motorsports Park where he finished 6th in Race 1 on Saturday and 7th in Race 2 on Sunday, by a quirk of fate he emerged from the weekend leading the championship.
A top karting competitor from 1995 to 2000, Dempsey began racing open wheel cars in 2004, winning various European Formula Ford championships in both 2005 and 2006. In 2007, he raced in selected races of the UK and Irish Formula Ford 1600 season, winning the Martin Donnelly Trophy, the BRDC Golden Helmet, the Leinster Trophy and the Walter Hayes Trophy. He was born March 31, 1986 in Dublin, Ireland and lives in Ashbourne, County Meath, Ireland. J
Two of Junco's Racing's regular team drivers will not be competing, including Walt Bowlin (who's car Dempsey will be driving) and Sean Burstyn, who's school commitments will keep him out of his usual #61 Juncos Racing / The Collection Mazda. Dempsey's teammate this weekend will be Toronto, Canada racer Michael Furfari, driving the #13 Juncos Racing / Furfari Paving Mazda. Furfari started go-kart racing in Canada at age 12 and moved up to open wheel cars in 2007 season when he attended the Juncos Racing School, driving a Formula Renault 1600. He also ran four Skip Barber races that same year and Qualified sat on the pole for his first-ever open-wheel race. In June 2008 he started testing with the Star Mazda championship car as a prelude to competing full-time in the 2009 Star Mazda Championship. He was born February 5, 1993 in Toronto, Canada and now lives in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada.
"This is a huge step forward for our team and comes at a unique time when a top driver is in need of a ride and we have the ability to provide it for him," says Juncos Racing team owner/manager Ricardo Juncos. "Peter really came to our attention when we looked at his in-car video from New Jersey that was posted on the Star Mazda series web site. We used that to help instruct Michael, and he achieved his best qualifying results so far, 6th on Saturday and 7th on Sunday. We have great plans for Juncos Racing and having a driver of Peter's caliber on board to help us accelerate the process of achieving those goals is a win-win for all of us. It will be a difficult debut for him and we must not expect too much because he raced, or even tested, on an oval, and we do not even have time to fit him with a proper seat before he goes on track tomorrow. So this weekend will be about survival and learning; then we will test with him at Iowa Speedway next week and begin the process of integrating him fully into the team and we will see where all this goes. We are excited to have Peter with us."
Established in 1997, headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Juncos Competicion opened its doors as a full service Formula Racing Team. Over the next 5 years the team would compete in various National Championships including the Formula Renault 1600 Championship, the Formula Renault 2000 Championship and finally the National Sport Prototype Championship of Argentina. In 2003 team founder and owner, Ricardo Juncos felt there was a need to carry his knowledge and expertise to North America so, in September of 2003, Juncos Racing opened its doors in Miami, Florida as a full service karting team. The next few years proved to be successful beyond imagination as the newly formed Juncos Racing team captured 19 Local, Regional and National karting Titles throughout North America. In 2008, Juncos Racing re-located to Fort Pierce, FL and dedicated most of its time establishing and training their drivers and crew members in preparation of the much anticipated next step up the open-wheel ladder to the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear.
Juncos operates out of a state-of-the-art facility which houses vehicles to service all levels of racing alike, from karts to open wheel Formula race cars. Juncos is one of the few teams in the United States which offers a development program starting from racing go-karts to racing professional open wheel race cars, including 2- and 3-day racing schools. The team's mission is to provide young and older drivers alike with a foundation upon which they can build a career in motorsports.
"We are the only Argentine team operating out of the country in a top open-wheel racing series, and a there is a lot of interest from the motorsports community there -- drivers, sponsors and media -- in what we are doing here," says Juncos. "It is my goal to establish Juncos Racing as a championship-caliber Argentine national open-wheel team competing at the top levels of professional open-wheel racing in North America, and if this fast young Irishman can help me get there, then I'm happy to help him get where he wants go as well."