Even with a couple rounds left before the 2017 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires is decided, excitement is building towards next season and the debut of the new car, the Tatuus PM-18.
Juncos Racing became the first team to officially confirm they have purchased chassis for 2018, buying three cars.
“We have been in the Pro Mazda series for nine years now and we would not be where we are today without this series,” Ricardo Juncos said. “This series has not only helped drivers grow into the next level, but has helped us grow as a team and a business. We have grown from a Pro Mazda team only to an Indy Lights and Pro Mazda team and now we are expanding to include the Verizon IndyCar Series. The new PM-18 car will also help us grow our successful Driver Development Program, which this team is based on, by providing a car that is technologically advanced. In the past we have run four cars in the Pro Mazda series, but next year we will start with a three-car program as we continue to expand into the Verizon IndyCar Series. We are looking forward to delivery of the cars in early September, and getting them on track for the Chris Griffis Memorial Test in October.”
This past season, Juncos Racing entered a pair of entries in the second-tier of the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires, with Victor Franzoni sitting second in the standings, just four markers behind Anthony Martin. The organization has won the series title on three different occasions.
“There are few teams in the Pro Mazda paddock with the history of Juncos Racing,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions, which operates all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires. “I am extremely pleased that they’ve stepped up and ordered three of our new PM-18 racecars. This new car will provide vastly increased performance and improved safety, and will close the gap in lap times to Indy Lights. Our goal is to provide the best training for Pro Mazda drivers intent on moving to Indy Lights, and Juncos Racing can certainly offer a great team effort to accomplish that goal.”
The Tatuus PM-18 features a full carbon composite and aluminum honeycomb monocoque chasis manufactured by Tatuus Racing. The 2-litre MZR-PM18A Mazda engines will be prepared by Elite Engines and have a maximum torque of 190 Ft. Lbs. with a fly-by-wire throttle system and Cosworth SQ6 engine management system.
“The Mazda Road to Indy is far more than a driver development program: it offers the same benefits for teams as well,” said John Doonan, Director of Motorsports for Mazda North American Operations. To see that nearly a decade of involvement in the MRTI by Ricardo Juncos and Juncos Racing led to their entry in the Indianapolis 500 and the Verizon IndyCar Series is something we were thrilled to see. Now, we’re also thrilled to see them continue to commit to the Mazda Road to Indy with the order of the new PM-18 Pro Mazda cars. We’re certain they will remain one of the teams to beat in all of the categories of the program.”
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