Alfonso Celis Jr. to Make Verizon IndyCar Series Debut at Road America

Alfonso Celis Jr. will make the move from the Indy Lights Championship presented by Coopers Tires to the Verizon IndyCar Series next month at Road America. Celis will pilot the No. 32 Chevrolet for Juncos Racing, the organization announced on Thursday.

"I'm very excited to be able to make my Verizon IndyCar Series debut,” said Celis Jr. in the press release. “This is something that I've dreamed of since I was a kid and something that we have worked for many years to achieve. I've had a lot of experience in Europe with high downforce and high horsepower cars, both in my testing duties in Formula 1 and in my seasons at World Series V8 3.5, so I feel ready to take on this new challenge. The competition in IndyCar is very high and I know it will be hard work, but we will work with the Juncos team so that we can catch up as quickly as possible. I'm really looking forward to Road America and to the opportunities that this will open."

Celis made competed in the Indy Lights Championship presented by Cooper Tires last month at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. In both of those races, Celis started the race from the eighth position. In the first race, he finished seventh while in the second race he finished eighth.

“Although this comes as a surprise for our Indy Lights team, this is another step forward with our IndyCar program. Alfonso (Celis Jr.) has proved he is ready to make this move from the success he has previously had in Formula 1 and I look forward to working with him in the IndyCar Series. In the meantime, we will continue to search for a replacement in the Indy Lights car, and maybe even a driver for our third car. We have had a lot of success in the Indy Lights series and I would like to continue that by running at least a two-car team. I want to thank Alfonso and his sponsors for continuing their commitment to our team and choosing to stay with us as he moves up. I also want to thank Chevrolet for their continued support as we continue to add more races to our IndyCar schedule this season.”

Rene Binder piloted the No. 32 Juncos Racing entry at Barber Motorsports Park last month (as seen in the second photo). Binder qualified 22nd and finished the race in 16th, his career-best finish. Binder also drove the entry at St. Petersburg where he finished 22nd. 2017 Indy Lights Series champion Kyle Kaiser piloted the entry at Phoenix and Long Beach.

Officials from Juncos Racing confirmed that Victor Franzoni will continue to pilot the No. 23 Mazda Scholarship car for the remainder of the 2018 season. Franzoni earned a podium finish in last months Indy Lights Series race at Barber finishing second, his best career finish. (Koelle,2018)

Photo Credit - Christian Koelle/CCK Photography