We mentioned last week that Jaques Lazier could be making a comeback in this year’s Indianapolis 500. It looks like his brother Buddy, 45, is in the running to, too.
Indianapolis radio station 93.1 WIBC FM posted a report that they had seen Buddy Lazier’s name on the DW12-Lotus chassis driven by Jean Alesi, and fielded by Fan Force United, in last year’s Indianapolis 500 (pictured).
The one-off entry for Alesi was brokered as he was a Lotus ambassador, with FFU running what had been the Lotus test car driven in the preseason. Lotus’ return to Indianapolis was nothing short of diabolical with both the Formula 1 veteran and HVM’s Simona de Silvestro woefully off the pace, and parked 10 laps into the 500-mile race.
Buddy Lazier, 1996 Indianapolis 500 champion, last made the 500 field in a last-ditch, small-budget Hemelgarn Racing Bump Day effort in 2008, and last attempted to qualify in 2009.
Neither Lazier has yet driven the new Dallara DW12 chassis that was introduced ahead of last year’s season. They last competed together in the 2007 Indianapolis 500.
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.”