Roughly one month after he faces the Indianapolis 500, IZOD IndyCar Series rookie of the year Simon Pagenaud will take on another historic racing event: The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Pagenaud, who drives the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports Honda in IndyCar, will be one of the manufacturer’s drivers at the June 30th climb in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His vehicle entry and racing class will be revealed at a later date, but the Frenchman will be part of a major effort for Honda that will see them run 10 products in nine different classes — products that range from Honda and Acura vehicles to Honda motorcycles and ATVs. It’s the most ever run by a single participant in the climb.
“Pikes Peak presents us with a unique opportunity to showcase Honda’s diverse product lineup and to energize Honda fans around world, as we work to further strengthen Honda’s presence in racing at all levels,” American Honda senior VP of automotive operations Mike Accavitti said in a statement.
“Our associates will be working hard between now and Race Day to prepare this diverse field of race vehicles and showcase the Honda racing spirit.”
Honda’s entries will run under two banners at Pikes Peak: Honda Performance Development and Team-Honda Research.
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.”