Banner weekend for Juncos Racing as new shop opens; Kaiser re-signs

Photo: Andersen Promotions
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Ricardo Juncos’ story of coming from Argentina to the U.S. and building a team from scratch, from karting initially through the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires, is one of the best in North America. It’s been a 20-year-odd process.

This weekend, Juncos Racing moved from its old shop in Brownsburg to a new one in Speedway, Ind., with the grand opening held Friday night. This took three years of planning and 10 months of construction to move into the brand-new, 40,000 square foot facility at 4401 Gilman St.

The team first announced their plans to relocate and build this new facility in May of 2015 in conjunction with the Speedway Redevelopment Commission. The extensive project broke ground in January of 2016 on the corner of Gilman Street and Allison Way and finished on time in early November.

“This is a dream come true for us at Juncos Racing,” said Juncos. “This facility shows where we came from, where we are, and where we hope to go in the future. I left Argentina in 2002 due to the huge financial crisis the country was in and came to the United States. I had $400 in my pocket and no clear direction of where my career in racing would go.  To think that we would one day be moving into our own first class facility was not even a vision.

“However, two years ago the idea of this building became a reality and now here we are. We’re very excited to welcome everyone to our open house this Friday to showcase the future of Juncos Racing. I would like to thank the Town of Speedway, Speedway Redevelopment Commission, Tim McGovern (McGovern Construction), Scott Perkins (Blackline Studios), Dale Kruse (Kruse Consulting), Don Spencer (Spencer Engineering), the team and drivers, and my family for their incredible support this past year in making this opportunity possible.”

The 40,000 square foot building hosts multiple office spaces, eight car bays, a paint booth, simulator room, and machine shop along with parking for multiple transporters.

Additionally, this wasn’t the only bit of Juncos news confirmed over the weekend. Kyle Kaiser will be back with the team for a third season in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. He’s the team’s second confirmed driver along with rookie Nico Dapero, and should be a championship contender.

“Ricardo (Juncos) is an extremely passionate and dedicated team owner, and it has been a privilege to drive for him the past three years,” Kaiser said. “The work ethic from everyone in the team has made Juncos competitive every race weekend, and I’m thrilled to be returning for another year. It’s great to be working with a group of guys that I know so well and can trust to do everything it takes to win a championship.”

Photos and videos from the shop grand opening as posted on social media are below:

Cadillac confirms WEC driver lineup with Chip Ganassi Racing that will race Le Mans in 2023

Cadillac Ganassi Le Mans
Cadillac Racing
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Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing announced their driver lineup for a 2023 entry in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the sports car series that includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Cadillac V-LMDh entry will be driven by Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn, who were teamed on the No. 02 Cadillac that competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi class this season and won the Twelve Hours of Sebring. The third driver will be Richard Westbrook, who will return to Ganassi after helping the team to a GT class win at Le Mans in 2018.

The team also will compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the rebranded Grand Touring Prototype premier category, which is designed for crossover between the top prototypes in IMSA and WEC. Ganassi will field a second entry at Daytona with its No. 01 Cadillac that will compete full time in IMSA with Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande.

A Ganassi spokesman said the team hopes to run its second entry in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans but only its WEC team is confirmed (an AOC invitation would be required for the IMSA team). The team also is exploring options but currently plans to have the WEC’s team base of operations in Indianapolis.

Ganassi is the first American-based prototype team to confirm its entry in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s expected that Team Penske, which raced this year’s Le Mans with a full-time WEC entry in LMP2, also will race Le Mans with Porsche’s new LMDh car that is set for IMSA, but the manufacturer has yet to confirm its driver and team lineup.

Next year will mark the return of Cadillac to Le Mans for the first time since 2002.

Before joining Ganassi last year, Lynn made 28 WEC starts since 2016, winning the LMGTE Pro class at Le Mans in 2020.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to continue with Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing,” Lynn said in a release. “It’s a huge honor to drive for Chip in any capacity but certainly on a full factory sports car program, it’s seriously cool. Cadillac has so much heritage as a luxury North American sports car brand, so to be able to represent them is a huge privilege. I’ve had a lot of fun in my first year doing it and to continue that onto the World Endurance Championship stage is fantastic.

“For me, returning to WEC is sort of what I’ve always known and it’s a bit like going into my wheelhouse. This year in IMSA was a bit different with getting to know all-new circuits and a new style of racing so 2023 will be filled with a bit more of what I’m used to with more of a European focus. I think what’s significant about WEC is without a doubt Le Mans. As a sports car race, Le Mans is the crown jewel and everything that we want to win. To be able to take Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac back to Le Mans to fight for overall honors is a huge honor and that’s something that I’m going to work tirelessly to make sure we achieve.”

Bamber won the Le Mans overall in 2015 and ’17 with Porsche teams and also was a 2019 GTLM champion in IMSA.

“I am really happy to continue at Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac,” Bamber said in a release. “I’ve loved my first season in DPi and now to continue over into the LMDh era and WEC is super exciting. Looking forward to fighting for a world championship and another Le Mans victory.

“The World Endurance Championships gives us the opportunity to race at the world’s biggest race, which is Le Mans, the crown jewel of sports car racing. I’ve been lucky enough to win it before and it’s obviously a huge goal for Cadillac and everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing. To have that goal in sight is really exciting. It’s been great to have Alex as a teammate in 2022. We’ve been able to learn and grow together in the DPi, and we have a really good partnership going into WEC. We know each other really well and believe adding Richard will be a seamless transition.”

Said Westbrook: “After four really good years at Chip Ganassi Racing, I’ve got so many friends there and I’ve always dreamt to come back one day. It just worked so well between 2016 and 2019, and I’m delighted we found a route to come together again. I can’t wait, it’s an exciting era in sports car racing right now.

“I feel like I know Alex and Earl really well. I did Le Mans with Alex in 2020 and I’ve known him for years. It feels like I’m going back with an ex-teammate and exactly the same with Earl. Although I’ve never shared a car with Earl, we’ve always done the same sort of racing be it in WEC or in IMSA. We’ve had lots of battles, including this year in our dueling Cadillacs. We’ve always gotten along quite well, and I can say we’re going to have a great year together.”

The seven-race WEC season, which also includes a stop at Spa, will begin March 17 with the 1,000 Miles of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.