Marussia plan to increase lead over Caterham

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Marussia are bringing upgrades for their MR02 this weekend which should put them further ahead of closest rivals Caterham.

“While we would not call the upgrades we have for this race comprehensive, they are still significant,” said team principal John Booth.

“We will be running some new suspension parts that we proved out in testing but delayed until we had some further race distance experience with the MR02. We also have some new front and rear brake ducts.”

Booth added the team will make a “bigger push” on development once the series returns to Europe at the Spanish Grand Prix in May.

Marussia finished behind Caterham in the championship last year but have been ahead of their rivals since the series began.

Caterham have previously said the next major step on their CT03 will also come once the ‘European season’ begins. Charles Pic is hoping set-up improvements for this weekend’s race will give him a better car:

“On Friday and Saturday morning we’ll also be working on several performance areas that the team has been looking at since Malaysia, particularly around dialing out the understeer issues I had in Australia and Malaysia. We have a few setup options to try to help with that, and some ideas we’re going to look at with Pirelli so I’m sure we can make good progress on that.”

However he will miss the first practice session on Friday as local driver Ma Qing Hua makes a one-off appearance at the wheel of the Caterham.

MRTI: Juncos signs Carlos Cunha for Pro Mazda campaign

Photo: Juncos Racing
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Juncos Racing continued to bolster its entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by signing Carlos Cunha to pilot a third Juncos Pro Mazda entry for 2018. Cunha, who finished third in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season on the back of seven podium finishes, joins Rinus VeeKay and Robert Megennis in Juncos’ Pro Mazda lineup for 2018.

Cunha previously tested with the team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October and joined Juncos for the Chris Griffis Memorial test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in November, testing cars for both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires teams.

“It’s great to become a part of Juncos Racing,” said the 18-year-old Cunha. “I am really excited to start the 2018 season with Juncos Racing. This fall we did some testing together and from there I was able to see how focused everyone on the team is and I even felt like I became a part of their family in no time. I am confident we will get great results together next year and I look forward to learning and growing more with the team. It will be a huge pleasure and also a great responsibility to carry the number one on my car, thanks to (2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni) and I hope to deliver it back to the team at the end of the year!”

Team owner Ricardo Juncos added, “We are excited to add Carlos to our Pro Mazda lineup. From the moment we started testing with him in early October, we knew he would be a great fit for our team. Carlos has been very quick in testing and even had an impressive showing in the Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis test back in October. He had a great run this past season in the Pro Mazda series and we are confident he will carry that momentum into the 2018 season.”

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