By Christopher DeHarde, Staff Writer
To nobody’s surprise, Juncos Racing announced that Victor Franzoni would be joining the team for the 2018 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires.
After winning the 2017 Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires with Juncos Racing, Franzoni received a Mazdaspeed scholarship to move to Indy Lights and it made sense for the Brazilian to stay with his current team as he climbs the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires.
Franzoni won seven of 12 Pro Mazda races in 2017 and finished second in the other five races. Since the season finale at Watkins Glen, the 22-year-old tested the Indy Lights car at the annual Chris Griffis Memorial Test in October 2017.
“I am so happy to be back with Juncos Racing”, said Franzoni in a team release. “We had an amazing year last year and I could not have won the Pro Mazda Championship without all of their support and hard work. We went into each race with such focus and knowing that if anything happened on track it could end the season.
“After our amazing experience last year, I am confident we will be successful in the Indy Lights Championship. I would like to thank everyone on the team, my family, Mazda, Cooper Tires, and Andersen Promotions for helping me make this possible.”
Franzoni’s struggle in 2017 was known. He was without much of a budget and only had one day of private testing during the season. If he finished second in the championship, it’s highly probable he would not be racing this year.
“I am so happy to have Victor (Franzoni) with us for the 2018 season,” said team owner Ricardo Juncos in a team statement.
“I have always seen a lot of myself in him. At times, life puts you in very difficult situations and there are no other options than to succeed with zero margins of error. This kid knows a lot about this and he is willing to do whatever it takes to succeed and I absolutely love that. I have no doubt that he will be a contender for the Indy Lights Championship. I have 100% confidence and trust in the crew behind Victor and look forward to the start of the season.”
The 2018 Indy Lights season begins during the March 9th-11th weekend on the Streets of St. Petersburg.