Juncos Racing Finishes Second in 2009 Championship after Tough Race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca SALINAS, Calif., October 10, 2009 - Juncos Racing entered the final round of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear this weekend at ...
Juncos Racing Finishes Second in 2009 Championship after Tough Race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
SALINAS, Calif., October 10, 2009 - Juncos Racing entered the final round of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear this weekend at the top of their game. Peter Dempsey, driver of the #3 Juncos Racing/The Collection/Motorsport Ireland/Quayside.ie/Irish Sports Council car, led the Overall Championship by 15 points to Adam Christodoulou of JDC Motorsports, and Toshi Deki, driver of the #80 Juncos Racing car, led the Expert Series (for drivers age 30-44) by four points over Chris Cumming of World Speed Motorsports. Both drivers took on today's Monterey Sports Car Championships presented by Patron event hoping to continue to deliver strong results and ultimately win their individual Championship Titles.
Dempsey once again proved he has what it takes to win this weekend by topping the sheets in both official practice sessions as well as earning his 5th pole of the season in qualifying with a time of 1:20.109. After finishing 3rd overall in the Championship last season, Dempsey only needed to finish 8th or better in today's race to achieve his dream of winning the 2009 Championship title.
All looked promising for the young Irishman as the race commenced, but disaster struck in the form of another competitor on the first lap, spinning him at the top of the Corkscrew and leaving him at the very back of the pack. A determined Dempsey quickly whipped his car around and began chasing the field with the intention of regaining the positions he had lost. By the halfway point of the race, Dempsey had made up eleven positions, even with a damaged nose, in addition to clocking in the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1:21.602. He was fighting for 11th position when he became involved in yet another collision, ending his race as well as his chances to win the Championship.
"Today was just not our day", said Dempsey. "It's racing, and these things happen in this sport. I would like to thank Juncos Racing for all the hard work they've put in this season to keep the Championship title alive. Also I'd like to thank my sponsors, The Collection, Motorsport Ireland, and Quayside.ie, as well as all the support I've received from back home. I'm so proud of the team and what we've accomplished this season. I hope I can come back to motorsports strongly in 2010."
The always humble and extremely likeable Dempsey demonstrated pure talent this season by claiming five poles and five wins out of 13 total rounds. He had created such a large points gap over most of the field that despite finishing dead last in today's race, he still finished 2nd in the overall Championship to the sole other contender of 2009, Adam Christodoulou.
Teammate Toshihiro Deki in the #80 Juncos Racing machine had an impressive first year in the Star Mazda Championship. He showcased his capabilities through consistency and dedication, achieving three in-class wins and leading the Expert Series Championship for the two rounds prior to the last event. After improving eight positions, finishing 15th overall, and 3rd in his class today, Deki will proudly take 2nd in the Expert Series Championship, a well-deserved award, to defending champion, Chris Cumming.
"I'm extremely happy to finish the season the way I did", said Deki. "Juncos Racing is a great team, the number one team in my opinion, and I want to thank them for everything this season. As for the Expert Series Championship, I'm so glad to finish 2nd in my rookie year, and I'll definitely be back again next year to try to win it."
In the Team Championship standings, Juncos Racing finished 3rd with 230 points, just behind the veteran teams of JDC Motorsports and Andersen Racing, an impressive result for the team's premier year.
"We did everything we had to do this weekend, and everything was right in every aspect", said Team Owner, Ricardo Juncos. "Unfortunately, this is a part of racing and things like this happen. I'm disappointed for today's result, but I'm happy to have learned everything we learned this year and achieved everything we've achieved. We've had so many accomplishments this season between multiple poles and wins, and I'm so proud of the whole team and all the hard work they've done. We may have lost the Championship today, but I'm so happy to finish 2nd in our first year. We will take everything this year as a learning experience as we look forward to 2010."
In its maiden year, Juncos Racing proved they are a strong competitor and attribute to the Star Mazda Championship. The team achieved four wins, five poles, and 15 top-ten finishes as well as a 2nd place finish in the overall Championship, and a 2nd place finish in the Expert Series Championship. Juncos Racing will look forward to battling the always competitive Star Mazda Championship field once again in 2010.