Juncos Racing Wins Championship with Rinus VeeKay
 September 5, 2018| 
  • Team News
Juncos PDX PM 2018 Web

Indianapolis, Ind. – Juncos Racing claimed their second consecutive Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires this past weekend in the Soul Red Finale double header at Portland International Raceway. Rookie Rinus VeeKay took home the Pro Mazda driver championship, along with “Rookie of the Year” honors while Juncos Racing was awarded the Pro Mazda Team Championship.

Juncos Racing proved to have one of the most talented driver line-ups in the Pro Mazda Championship during the 2018 season with all three drivers finishing on the podium multiple times throughout the year. The team only missed the podium three times out of the 16-race schedule, recording 21 podium finishes in total. Rinus VeeKay added to the team’s impressive run earning seven poles, and seven wins.

The team kicked off the 2018 season in dominating fashion with VeeKay driving the No. 2 Jumbo/Juncos Racing car to back to back wins at the Grand Prix of St. Pete. Both teammates Carlos Cunha in the No. 1 CarlosCunha.com.br/Juncos Racing car and Robert Megennis in the No. 9 Palo Alto Networks/Juncos Racing car picked up podium finishes in Rounds 1 and 2. The team would go on to collect multiple podiums between all three drivers at Barber Motorsports Park, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Lucas Oil Raceway, and Road America.

Throughout the second half of the season VeeKay closed in on the championship with five straight poles and wins between Toronto, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and Gateway International Raceway. Megennis had an impressive run as well with four straight podiums between Rounds 11 and 14. Cunha added to the podium total with a second place finish at Toronto.

The season came to a close at Portland International Raceway with Rounds 15 and 16. VeeKay only need to start the weekend to clinch the Pro Mazda Championship. The young Netherlands native picked up his seventh pole of the season for Round 15 and would go on to collect two second places finishes. VeeKay was awarded the Mazda Scholarship for winning the Pro Mazda Championship, which will provide him funds to run a full season in the 2019 Indy Lights Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.

Juncos Racing could not be caught in the team championship, winning by 223 points. The team now holds onto three total team Pro Mazda Championships and four driver championships.

Team Owner Ricardo Juncos said, “This was an incredible season. Many factors went into this team winning the Pro Mazda Championship back to back. The crew proved how much work the team puts into these cars, especially since the entire field was running with the new PM-18 car, so no one had any previous data to go off of. Despite any issues we faced this team was able to fight through each weekend. Our driver line-up was one of the strongest we have had. I knew we had a championship contending team between Rinus (VeeKay), Robert (Megennis), and Carlos (Cunha), but was blown away by how much success they all had throughout the year. These guys worked so hard both on and off track. I could not have asked for more talented and dedicated group. I want to thank the entire team for a fantastic year!”

Driver Quotes Post Portland Races:

Rinus VeeKay No. 2 Jumbo/Juncos Racing: “It was a good weekend. We had really positive practice sessions. We ended up getting the pole in both races by a really small margin. The run coming into Turn 1 at Portland is so long. In Round 15 I had a bad start and everyone passed me everyone but I still stayed in second coming out of Turns 1 and 2. I got a P2 result. In Round 16 I had a good start, David Malukas had a run on me coming into Turn 1. I went in super deep and locked up the brakes. I could not pass him back. Parker Thompson was a lap down and let Malukas go by and actually held me up the rest of the race. It sucks a little bit because I wanted to compete for the win but its good to finish the 2018 season on a high. I can’t wait to go and test Indy Lights!”

Robert Megennis No. 9 Palo Alto Networks/Juncos Racing: “Overall Portland was a little bit of a tough weekend. We never had the pace to compete for the win. In the first qualifying session we were sixth and in the second we were fifth. In the first session, we got held up a little bit by cold tires but we had a really good car. In the second qualifying session the car was a little bit off so we couldn’t do any better than fifth. In the first race, I had a really good start and I got myself up to first after starting in sixth but then I backed out of Turn 1 so I did not have an accident. I ended up fifth. In Round 16 I got up to fourth in the start but I had contact with another driver, which damaged my front wing. We ran around in fourth for a little while still with a broken front wing. Eventually one of the end plates fell off and then I had to pit, which was disappointing not to finish that race. Overall, this weekend doesn’t represent our season. We had a great season, especially with our string of podiums in the second half. I can’t thank the team enough for giving me an awesome race car everything race and for supporting me and making me me the best driver I’ve ever been. I can’t thank Palo Alto Networks enough for getting me out there and giving me this opportunity to go out there and do what I love.”

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