Ilott, Juncos-Hollinger Agree to Long Term Deal

One driver is now off the table with speculation building over who gets to drive the Ganassi 10 or the Andretti 1 next year. Callum Ilott and Juncos-Hollinger have a new two year agreement. Ilott a rookie, is 21st in points, but has qualified well on the road courses. He finished 11th and 12th last weekend at Iowa after starting 22nd in both races.

As for why he chose to stay at juncos-Hollinger Racing, Ilott said,

“At the end of the day Ricardo and Brad have put a lot of
investment in from the beginning, gave me the opportunity
to come out here. The trust in them and the trust in me,
vice versa, I really respected that.
We did the deal quite early on this year to continue. I’m a
man of my word. Of course, there was a lot of interest
from other people, but I was very honest from the very
beginning if anyone approached me, Look, this is what the
situation is.
But, yeah, I’m very happy to continue. I think we’ve got a
lot of momentum. Also there’s interest for engineers and
people to join as well. I think as a team we’ll grow,
hopefully quickly. It could be slowly, but we’re definitely on
the right track to improve.”

Ilott at Mid Ohio

The team has done a great job as a one car team, but they are looking to expand. Co-owner Brad Hollinger announced,

“We’re targeting (a second car) next year right now.
Ricardo can allude to that a little bit more for that. We’re
happy to say that is the game plan for sure.
In terms of drivers, I’ll turn that over to Ricardo.”

Juncos added,:

“It is quite difficult, INDYCAR, right?
One of the key components is the system, the engineers,
how you apply all that.
We’re going to prioritize the quality. Having one car, you
still can perform quite okay. No question the second car
will put us to the next level. That’s intention. But, like I
said, we need to make sure is properly first, not just do two
cars just because, because otherwise can be the whole
program damaged.
We’re working very hard to see how we’re going to put the
program together. As of today, we don’t know that yet, but
that’s clearly the way to go.”

Ilott is looking forward to having an experienced teammate.

“I mean, from my side, I would like
someone to teach me what I haven’t been taught.
Obviously that’s a hard one to learn what you don’t know in
a sense.
So, yeah, if someone was super experienced and can
teach me some stuff on the oval, someone who can
develop the team. Otherwise I think they’re going to have
a tough time competing against me for speed. Otherwise,
yeah, help develop the team as much as possible, see
what I can get out of them. That’s my personal side of

Juncos explained why his team chose not to form a technical alliance with a larger team.

“If we are doing good now with one car team, no technical alliance, if you can add a second car, I think we’re going to be doing our own
I’m quite happy and secure doing that more than a
technical alliance. Also there is no one that I can see
willing to align with us on the technical area as well.”

The team has performed quite well this year considering they are the only single car team on the grid and the driver is a rookie. It will be interesting to see how much they improve in 2023.

Ilott Cleared to Drive; Another Tweak to Practice Time

Just a couple of news items as we head toward the season’s halfway point

Callum Ilott has been cleared to drive this weekend. The Juncos Hollinger racing driver injured his hand in a crash during the Indianapolis 500, and missed last week’s race at Detroit. Ilott will be in the car at road America. Natural road courses seem to be the rookie’s strength. he was on his way to his best finish at barber until a spin put him at the back of the field.

Practice Session Time

Indycar will make another change to its practice session this weekend. Earlier this season Indycar allotted an hour to complete the 45 minutes of on track time. The intent was to get the full 45 minutes of track in despite stoppages for tow ins or accidents. It hasn’t quite worked with multiple incidents which have not allowed for a full session.

Tomorrow’s first practice will be 75 minutes, going from 3:330-4:445 pm Central time. Teams will be allowed to use the red tires tomorrow instead of Saturday, a move that Indycar hopes will encourage more cars to take advantage of the time.

Some teams have complained of the lack of practice time. Let’s see if they use the extra time they are given. I appreciate Indycar’s willingness to adjust to find a good solution.

Call the Super Sub- Ferrucci in for Ilott at Detroit

Callum Ilott has not been cleared to drive this coming weekend because of his injury suffered in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500. Santino Ferrucci will drive the number 77 entry for Juncos Hollinger Racing. Ferrucci subbed for Jack Harvey at Texas and finished ninth. Ferrucci finishe 10th in the 500 driving for Dreyer and Reinbold Racing.

Callum Ilott. Indycar photo by Chris Jones

The full statement from Juncos Hollinger racing:

Indianapolis, IN (June 1, 2022) – After further evaluation of NTT INDYCAR SERIES rookie Callum Ilott, from the injury he sustained during the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500, Ilott has not been cleared to drive this weekend in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix. Santino Ferrucci will replace Ilott in the No. 77 JHR Chevrolet for one event.

Ricardo Juncos and Santino Ferrucci

JHR and Ilott respect the decision made by the INDYCAR Medical Team and are committed to getting the young Britain back on track as soon as he is well and cleared. Ilott was reevaluated this week after an injury suffered to his hand caused during his wreck at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Ilott will go through another evaluation next week.

“Obviously I am devastated not to be racing this weekend in Detroit,” said Ilott. “After speaking with the doctors and specialists here in Indy the damage to my hand was slightly worse than when first looked at. They suggested that the long-term healing was the top priority and any damage that could be done in the short term by racing would be a longer-term problem. So, after learning this I agreed with the medical team’s decision that I would not be cleared and would spend more time healing. Although I would have loved to be racing, I wanted to preserve myself and focus on my health. I spoke with Ricardo (Juncos) and Brad (Hollinger) and we came to a same conclusion for the benefit of the team. I will be with the team this weekend and supporting Santino and providing any guidance I can. I am sorry that I won’t be in the car this weekend but know this is the right decision.”

“This is a very difficult scenario for Ilott and JHR,” said JHR Co-owner and Team Principal Ricardo Juncos. “Together we are looking at the long-term view, so keeping Ilott out of the car to take the necessary time to heal was most important, so we support the INDYCAR’s evaluation. Callum has already proven to be a strong contender this year and we want to keep building on that, so we all agree this is the best decision for this weekend.”

Santino Ferrucci brings a great deal of experience to JHR, having run in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES since 2018. The American recently competed in the Indianapolis 500 with Dreyer and Reinbold Racing finishing 10th and at Texas Motor Speedway with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing finishing ninth.

“Although I am happy to be back in the car, it’s unfortunate for Callum under the circumstances,” said Ferrucci. “I hope his hand heals really quickly and he is back on track soon. I’m just here to help with the team and see if we can get them a really good result and bring in some different knowledge from my experience in Detroit. I am looking forward to having some fun and carrying the momentum I have from Indy. I can’t thank the guys over at Juncos Hollinger enough with in trusting me this weekend and hopefully it goes really smoothly.”

“We want to thank Santino Ferrucci for graciously stepping in to help us out in the No. 77 Chevrolet at Detroit,” said Juncos. “To have a driver of high caliber like Santino will be a great assist to our team. We will provide any support necessary to Santino this weekend as we get him settled in the car.”

“This is a tough moment for all of us here at JHR, but we are all confident this is what’s best for the health and healing of Callum,” said Co-Owner Brad Hollinger. “The support Callum has for this team and the support we all have for Callum, shows the unity of everyone at JHR. We are all here to fully support Santino this weekend and thank him for stepping in on such short notice.”

Ilott Leads Final Warm Up

Photo by Kyle McIness

Callum Ilott posted the fastest lap in the final warm up for Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. The session ran dry despite a slight chance of rain. just a few scattered drops fell.

Alex Palou had the second fastest time. Marcus Ericsson, Scott Dixon, and Alexander Rossi completed the top five.

Eight minutes into the 30 minute session Tatiana Calderon slid off the track in turn 2 and made contact with the barrier. Calderon was unhurt. The rest of the round was green.

Ilott will start 11th tomorrow.

Pole sitter Rinus VeeKay was 20th for this session.

All eyes turn to the skies now to see what kind of race we will have tomorrow. The rain looks to be scattered, which will make for interesting strategy. This race will be intriguing if it is run in completely dry conditions.

The top 13:

Ilott to Drive Full Time for Juncos Hollinger in 2022

Photo from Juncos Hollinger Twitter account

Junco Hollinger Racing announced this morning that Callum Ilott will drive full time for the team in 2022. Ilott is driving for Junco Hollinger in the final three races of the 2021 season which concludes Sunday at Long Beach.

Ilott finished second in F2 in 2020 to Mick Schumacher, who went to Haas in Formula 1. He has served as a reserve driver for Alfa Romeo this season.

In his first two races, Ilott has done a decent job given the time he has had in the car and the relative newness of the team.

No other team announcements are expected until next week.

Practice for the Acura grand prix of Long Beach begins at 6 pm Eastern on Peacock.