Juncos Hollinger Racing will make its NTT IndyCar Series debut at the Portland Grand Prix with Callum Ilott, the 2020 Formula 2 championship runner-up, Alfa Romeo Formula 1 reserve driver, and Scuderia Ferrari F1 test driver, in its No. 77 Chevy.
Ilott traveled to JHR’s base on Monday where he was fitted to the car; next on his list was a visit to IndyCar’s medical staff for the necessary checks ahead of his first track test.
“I am pleased and excited to be announcing I will be racing with Juncos Hollinger Racing at Portland,” said Ilott (pictured at right, above, with Ricardo Juncos). “This will be my first time in the NTT IndyCar Series and running in the United States, which will be a bit of a change from running on the European side.
“I am looking forward to working with the team during this first phase of their development. I would like to thank the Ferrari Driver Academy for allowing me to take this opportunity and for Ricardo Juncos and Brad Hollinger for bringing me on board the team.”
As Juncos Racing, the Indiana-based team founded by Ricardo Juncos made 15 IndyCar starts from 2017-2019 where it made headlines at the Indy 500 after its largely unsponsored team knocked McLaren Racing and Fernando Alonso out of the field of 33. With the recent addition of former Williams F1 stakeholder Brad Hollinger to the program, the outfit has been renamed and relaunched ahead of a three-race campaign to close the season as it prepares to go full-time in 2022.
“We are very excited to welcome Callum Ilott to the Juncos Hollinger Racing family,” Juncos said. “Callum brings a lot of experience and incredible talent to the team. We are confident that he will transition well into the NTT IndyCar Series when we get on track for our final test before making our official debut together at Portland next week.”
The 22-year-old from England has been among the most coveted European open-wheel talents in recent years who, like many of his top junior open-wheel rivals, continues to wait for an F1 race seat to open. In the absence of a grand prix drive, Ferrari has kept Ilott busy with his first foray into sports cars. On his debut in August at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Ilott landed on the podium with the Iron Lynx team, placing third in a Ferrari 488 GTE Evo.
More importantly, it was Ilott’s run to second in F2 last year with five poles, three victories, and six podiums that caught the attention of the F1 paddock. With Ilott made available for the September 10-12 Portland race, he’ll give JHR its first chance to evaluate talent to hire before the team moves onto the penultimate race at Laguna Seca and the season finale at Long Beach with the No. 77 Chevy.