IMSA rookie Canapino impressed by Cadillac and Juncos team

David Malsher

The Argentine 28-year-old was one of the stars of the three-day Roar Before the Rolex 24 test last week, despite his relative unfamiliarity with the car, and the team being new to IMSA and therefore the Cadillac DPi-V.R.

In fact, team owner Ricardo Juncos was so impressed with Canapino, who has earned multiple Top Car and TC2000 titles in his home country, that he was chosen to set the hot lap in the session that decides which teams get the most favorable pitboxes and garages.

Canapino qualified eighth, ahead of both the Cadillacs operated by JDC-Miller (also new to the car but not to IMSA Prototypes) and only half a second off the top Cadillac time set by Action Express Racing’s experienced ace Filipe Albuquerque.

Said Canapino: “We continue to gain momentum every time we go on track and have made a lot of progress in a short time. I am really enjoying every chance I get to turn in some laps in the Cadillac DPi-V.R. The power this car delivers is amazing.

“I cannot thank Juncos Racing enough for all of the hard work they do to give us a great racecar. The capacity and level that Ricardo's team operates at is incredible, so hats off to everyone at Juncos Racing.

“We will continue to work together the next few weeks and prepare for the Rolex 24.”

Juncos himself, who has lined up his part-time IndyCar drivers Kyle Kaiser and Rene Binder with rising open-wheel star Will Owen to drive the #50 Cadillac, stated: “Will, Kyle, Rene, and Agustin did a fantastic job. Each one progressed throughout each session and all four worked together extremely well.

“We completed each objective we set out to do in our first time on track with the entire team. It was our first chance at pitstops and driver changes.

“All of the hard work this team has done over the past two months really paid off as our times were very close to the leaders. Even though we had a slight bump in the road with a racing incident on Saturday, the crew did a great job getting the car back together so quickly that we lost no track time.

“I am very impressed overall how we worked as a team and what we were able to learn throughout the weekend.

“I would like to thank Cadillac for all of their support and for putting together a powerful racecar."

Owen, who is confirmed for the full IMSA season with Juncos, added: “The final day at the Roar was quite successful…Agustin did a great job for us in qualifying and I am really impressed with his pace among the other drivers who have done this race for a couple of years.

"We learned a lot and gained some valuable knowledge that will really help us in the race. The crew made some great changes and really nailed the balance of the car during the final session today. Overall I am very happy with how we ended the weekend and I am excited to get back here for the race.”