Ricardo Juncos had nothing but positive things to say after Austria’s Rene Binder completed his first Verizon IndyCar Series test with the team on Wednesday at Sebring.
The recent graduate of Europe’s World Series Formula V8 3.5 turned more than 100 trouble-free laps in the Juncos Racing Chevy he’ll drive in four races this year, starting next week in St. Petersburg. His teammate Kyle Kaiser, the 2017 Indy Lights champion, spent time in the car on Tuesday, and will make his season debut in April at Phoenix.
— Juncos Racing (@juncosracing) February 28, 2018
“We had zero issues with the car both days, except for some electronics things we got fixed, but we found a good balance today with Rene, he did a very good job, and with our stopwatch, he was turning similar times to [Takuma] Sato at the end of the day, so we are very encouraged,” Juncos told RACER.
“Very good, consistent, and I’m also very happy with the team. We met 50 percent of them at the (Feb. 8-10) Phoenix test, so some are still new, but they work well together and we spent time fine-tuning things. It was good to do these two days and we will keep working on pit stops and other things to get everyone ready for St. Pete.”
For Binder, who comes from the rapid Formula V8 3.5 cars (formerly known as the World Series Powered by Renault 3.5) the step up to IndyCar power and performance on the Sebring short course caught and held his attention.
“It was a great day. The first laps were impressive – the brakes, the engine – and it’s really nice to drive,” he said. “Compared to what I drove before, it was quick. We had a lot of things to go through, did about 130 laps, developed the car really well in the afternoon with springs and damping, and got faster and faster.”
Sharing the track with front-running teams like Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Ed Carpenter Racing helped Binder to compare his progress.
My first laps in Sebring. Wow, what a feeling on those bumps – a different sport, but I like it ;-) pic.twitter.com/GcTXuv2jDF
— Rene Binder (@ReneBinder12) February 28, 2018
“It took some laps to get up to speed, and to deal with the bumps; they’re a lot bigger than the European ones I’m used to, and competing against the best drivers in IndyCar, I think the team did a really good job here,” he said. “We are leaving here more than happy.”