2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni will move up to Indy Lights Championship with Juncos Racing, becoming the team’s first confirmed driver for an anticipated three-car Indy Lights program.
With five poles and seven wins, Franzoni edged Anthony Martin to win the Pro Mazda Championship, coming out on top in a tight points battle by winning both races at the season-ending Watkins Glen weekend. The championship marked the first time a team won the Lights and Pro Mazda titles in the same year.
By winning the Pro Mazda Championship, Franzoni was awarded a Mazda scholarship supplying him with the funds needed to advance to Indy Lights.
“I am so happy to be back with Juncos Racing,” Franzoni said. “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.”
Added Mazda Motorsports Director John Doonan: “When Victor claimed the 2017 Pro Mazda Championship, he firmly stated that the Mazda Road to Indy is not just about the financial support Mazda provides…but it is about ‘hope’ for young drivers. No better words could describe the purpose of the Mazda Road to Indy…and Victor is and will continue to be a prime example of why our brand has invested in this program for over ten years.
“We wish Victor much success in 2018 as he climbs one step closer to IndyCar via our Mazda program and we are grateful for the continued support of Andersen Promotions, Cooper Tires, and IndyCar as we collectively make driver dreams a reality.”
Team owner Ricardo Juncos said he sees “a lot of myself” in the 22-year-old Brazilian.
“At times, life puts you in very difficult situations and there are no other options than to succeed with zero margins of error,” Juncos said. “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 percent confidence and trust in the crew behind Victor and look forward to the start of the season.”
Juncos Racing’s Indy Lights champion, Kyle Kaiser, will share a seat with Austrian Rene Binder in a partial program in the Verizon IndyCar Series.