Juncos Hollinger Racing will bring its No. 77 NTT INDYCAR SERIES car to Argentina from Nov 4-9 for exhibition runs.
The car will be presented at the Michelangelo in the country’s capital city of Buenos Aires and then head to the Circuit of Buenos Aires and the Circuit of Termas de Rio Hondo, Santiago del Estero for exhibition laps with multiple Argentinean touring car champion Agustin Canapino behind the wheel.
Team co-owner Ricardo Juncos formed Juncos Competicion team in his native Argentina in 1997. The last time the INDYCAR SERIES visited Argentina was in 1971 during the USAC Rafaela Indy 300 race held at the Autodromo, won by Al Unser.
Canapino is the son of renowned Argentine mechanic Alberto Canapino, who died in February 2021.
“For many years, we have been trying to bring a NTT INDYCAR SERIES car to Argentina, and today to be in the position to officially announce the car will be returning for an exhibition after 51 years is amazing,” said Juncos, who also serves as team principal. “This gives us a lot of pride as Argentineans and for all that this means. Since we are linked to Chevrolet in the United States and to have Agustin Canapino as the driver will be one of the greatest moments of motorsports in our community.
“When Alberto Canapino was with us at the 24 Hours of Daytona, we thought of what a great moment this would be to see Agustin in an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car, and from that point on, on my promise that is what we were going to make happen. Regardless of the team and effort it would take, today it is a reality, and I am sure Alberto would be so proud of this moment.
“As an Argentinean and understanding what motorsport of this hierarchy means, it fills us with pride, the whole Juncos Hollinger Racing team, our friends and all the immense amount of people who in different ways collaborated to make this possible. I think this is a very important step forward in terms of promoting INDYCAR not only in Argentina but also in all Latin America, and I hope it will be the basis that will allow us in the near future to have our country more involved in the INDYCAR SERIES championship.”
JHR will promote the NTT INDYCAR SERIES throughout the visit by showcasing the car during the exhibition beginning Nov. 4 with a presentation at the Michelangelo of Buenos Aires. The car will be on track for a private session during the Turismo National on Nov. 5-6, concluding with the main event Nov. 9 at the Termas de Rio Hondo, Santiago del Estero.
Gerardo Zamora, the governor of Santiago de Estero, visited with Juncos; Mark Miles, president and CEO of Penske Entertainment Corporation; and Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb during the 2022 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.
“For me it is an honor to have an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car test in our International Circuit of Termas de Rio Hondo,” said Hector Farina, director of the International Circuit of Termas de Rio Hondo. “The last time we had this car in our country from the United States was back in 1971 and has not returned since then. To have this car in our providence, with a first-class driver, will be something extraordinary. Thank you everyone for coming and for thinking of Santiago del Estero.”
This won’t be Canapino’s first drive with JHR. He made his debut with the team in the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship driving the JHR Cadillac DPi entry during the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring.
“For me, to have this chance to be the driver of the Juncos Hollinger Racing NTT INDYCAR SERIES in Argentina is a great privilege, a great honor and great responsibility for which I have been preparing myself for a long time,” Canapino said. “I would like to thank Ricardo Juncos, Brad Hollinger and the entire Juncos Hollinger Racing team, as well as those who have made it possible for the car to come to Argentina.
“I only have words of gratitude, and at the same time I want to invite everyone to come to this incredible event that we will have with the National Tourism in which I will also be competing in the race of two drivers was the big icing on the cake, which is the Indy Exhibition. This is not just another car, (JHR is) the team of Argentina. They finished the final event (of 2022) qualifying on the front row in the most competitive and demanding category in the world.”
Argentinean driver Canapino will drive an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car for the first time next week during a private test at Sebring International Raceway.
“To be able to test with Ricardo and the team is a huge honor and huge commitment,” Canapino said. “It is very exciting for me because it is something that Ricardo had talked with my dad about a lot, who unfortunately is no longer here and will not be able to see me live this moment, but I know he will be watching.
“Thank you to Ricardo and Juncos Hollinger Racing for giving me this opportunity to test the car before the exhibition. The NTT INDYCAR SERIES car is demanding, and the complexity of it is essential to testing beforehand so that everything goes the way we want it to.”