New IMSA entrant Ricardo Juncos intends to be a valuable contributor to the series in ways that extend far beyond fielding a Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Prototype class.
With the Argentinian team owner preparing to add a WeatherTech SportsCar Championship campaign alongside his IndyCar and Mazda Road To Indy programs, IMSA’s top series should benefit from the deeper ties to Latin America that will emerge.
Using Juncos Racing’s IndyCar and MRTI drivers as a history guide, pilots from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela have thrived within the Speedway, Indiana-based operation. Although Juncos has yet to name the drivers for the 2019 season, his connections to the Spanish-speaking world will likely pay dividends as IMSA looks to widen its footprint.
“Ricardo Juncos gives us another arrow in the quiver to build our international audience and builds the level of diversity among our owners as well,” IMSA president Scott Atherton told RACER.
“Ricardo’s spoken to being a native Argentinian, being proud of his heritage, proud of being a success story in America, and has relationships within the Argentinian government where he felt the IMSA platform he now has would be an attractive opportunity for Argentina to build their tourism around. And he also has a long list of really talented South American drivers wanting to drive for him next year.”
And on a personal front, Juncos also adds to a small base of international owners who hail from Australia, Germany, Italy, and South Africa. Having traveled to IMSA’s Road America event earlier this month to meet with Atherton, Juncos was quick to help the series with a new broadcast venture that happened to coincide with his trip.
“Even during the initial conversation we had with Ricardo at Road America, we had the opportunity to have him interviewed for the pilot broadcast on the Claro network in Argentina,” Atherton said.
“It was the first time we put the Continental Tire Sports Car Championship live over the air to Argentina, and Ricardo spoke about his interest in general with IMSA.”
Between Juncos, Colombian superstar Juan Pablo Montoya from Acura Team Penske, AFS PR1 Mathiasen’s Colombian duo of Sebastian Saavedra and Gustavo Yacaman, and a number of featured players like Mexico’s Pato O’Ward who join in for the longer races, IMSA has a new team owner and a number of drivers who can build a bigger audience for the U.S.-based sport.
“[The Road America Claro broadcast also] went live to Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Uruguay and Venezuela,” Atherton added.
“Plus, we are now looking to air Road America WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race in a cut-down form, with Spanish language voice over as well. This is in addition to what we have always done with the television show that we produce, IMSA el Camino a la Velocidad.”