“I think the challenge is building an IndyCar team from scratch,” Juncos said at Long Beach. “From zero, it’s always a challenge, right? It’s a top of the planet class and we respect that, we know it’s difficult. For us ’22 will be our first full season, a lot to learn, I think we are really looking forward to ’23 when everything is set – that’s the year we’re going to go for big things. I think obviously we want to win, we want to win today and this weekend, but the reality is IndyCar is difficult and obviously we’re facing all the top teams. We know what we want, we just need time and that’s what we’re going to start doing.”
The current level of competition in IndyCar is such that being one or two tenths of a second off of the pace in qualifying can make the difference between starting eighth and 18th. To be successful in IndyCar means that a team must operate at a near-perfect level and that comes with a lot of experience, which JHR is lacking.
That didn’t deter Ilott from joining a small team, especially with his pedigree in European racing. The Brit is a Formula 2 race winner, coming second in the 2020 F2 standings to Mick Schumacher and finishing third in the GTE-Am class at the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans. The mountain for him and JHR to climb might make critics question the wisdom of joining a small team, but Ilott knows the path ahead will be difficult and has embraced that difficulty.
“As frustrating as it can be, we knew what we were coming into for these (2021 IndyCar) races, that’s why I’m not stressing at the moment,” Ilott said. “But what I know for sure is that we will have a lot of work to do over the winter, we have a lot of ability to do that work and then we’ll see where we start the beginning of next year, so I think honestly we can do a great job.