Sulaiman Delivers Juncos Racing's First Win of 2021
 June 23, 2021| 
  • Team News
Sulaiman

Reece Gold and Kyffin Simpson Capture Podiums in Round 10 at Road America

Plymouth, Wisconsin – Juncos Racing’s Manuel Sulaiman delivered a dominating start to the doubleheader weekend at Road America claiming both poles, followed by capturing his first win, giving the team their first win of the 2021 season in the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. Rookies Reece Gold and Kyffin Simpson picked up two podium finishes, taking second and third in a thrilling Round 10 of the Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Road America Powered by Elite Engines.  

After a three-week hiatus, the Indy Pro 2000 Championship returned to the track for Rounds 9 and 10 on the 4.014 mile, 14-turn road course located at Road America. Two test sessions kicked off the long weekend Thursday afternoon. Manuel Sulaiman driving the No. 22 Telcel entry and rookie teammates Reece Gold driving the No. 55 The Ticket Clinic entry and Kyffin Simpson driving the No. 21 Simpson Racing Products entry looked to carry their strong momentum into the start of the second half of the season.

Practice followed by qualifying for Round 9 took place Friday. After a season full of ups and downs for Sulaiman, he charged his way to the top of charts to claim his first pole of the season. Gold qualified fourth and Simpson took the eighth starting position on the grid.

Juncos Racing continued their domination in qualifying with Sulaiman once again taking the pole for Round 10 Saturday morning, delivering the team their sixth consecutive pole. Gold continued to show the team’s dominance taking the second starting position. Simpson qualified eighth.

The first race of the doubleheader event took place just a few short hours later. After the green flag waved for the 15-lap race, cars went to battle for positions, ultimately resulting in a four-car incident during the first lap. Simpson unfortunately was collected in this incident in Turn 3 and would end his day due to contact. After three laps under caution, Sulaiman went on to hold the lead for the entire race, earning his first win and the team’s first win of the season. Gold took home a fifth-place finish.

Sunday morning the Indy Pro 2000 field returned to the track for Round 10. Sulaiman, who started from the pole, led the first four laps before falling back just before the first caution. After one lap under caution, the race returned to green. Gold made his way to the front of the field by Lap 7 before the second caution of the race. During this time, Simpson who started eighth passed his way up to an impressive third. Once the race returned to green, Gold tried to hold onto the lead but would fall back to second. Gold went on to finish second and Simpson claimed his second podium of the season taking an impressive third.

Gold currently sits third in the Indy Pro 2000 Championship followed by Sulaiman in sixth and Simpson in eighth. Juncos Racing is just 17 points behind the lead of the team championship with eight rounds still left to go this season.

Juncos Racing Team Owner Ricardo Juncos said, “I am so impressed by all three drivers making their way on to the podium this weekend. This first half of the season Manuel has been faced with a lot of bad luck, so to see him show such dominance in qualifying and get his first win is exactly what he deserved. Reece continues to impress everyone at his young age and was so close to picking up his first win, so I am confident he will be on top of the podium soon. Kyffin also shows great strength on track at such a young age, and to see him go from eighth to third was truly incredible. Each one of these drivers has shown exactly what we strive for with our driver development program. They have all grown so much in just the first half of the year and have great chemistry with the entire team. We have a small team, but the crew continues to show how strong we are and I want to thank them for all of their hard work. I also want to thank all of the drivers, their families, sponsors, and supporters for always believing in Juncos Racing. We are looking forward to getting back on track soon at Mid-Ohio where we have had great success.”

Reece Gold (Miami, Florida) No. 55 The Ticket Clinic: “Another great weekend of racing. Led some laps and came so close to the win but ended up with another P2. Still, I am very happy with the result and we gained some very good points. A big thank you to the team for getting the car fixed so quickly on the grid for Race 2. Thank you to my sponsor, The Ticket Clinic. I am excited to continue this momentum to Mid-Ohio and keep pushing for our first win!”

Kyffin Simpson (Grand Cayman Islands) No. 21 Simpson Race Products/Go Pro/Spy: “We had a great weekend in Road America and I really enjoyed learning the track in the Indy Pro 2000 car. We didn’t have the qualifying that we wanted, qualifying in P8 for both races, but we knew we would have the pace on old tires and be able to make our way to the front. We had some bad luck in the first race getting collected on the first lap which ended our day, but we came back better and made it to a podium finish in the second race. I am glad that I could get back on the podium before heading to Mid-Ohio and look to carry this momentum into the next rounds.”

Manuel Sulaiman (Mexico City, Mexico) No. 22 Telcel / Infinitum / WBC / Inteligentus / Anahuac / Volta / MSD: "Positive weekend overall. I am very happy with the performance we had. We dominated almost every session in qualifying and the races. The team did a superb job, and I want to thank them for the great car and opportunity they gave me. Two poles were amazing and to finally take the win in the first race was incredible. In the second race, I was unfortunately hit from behind and lost positions. We will keep working for the next round in Mid Ohio. I thank my sponsors and family for making this possible."

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Juncos Racing is a championship-winning team fielding multiple cars in the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, the Indy Lights Series, and the NTT IndyCar Series.  

The mission of Juncos Racing is to develop young drivers from around the world into the next level of their racing careers through the Juncos Racing Driver Development Program. Through this program, the team not only works with drivers on track to improve their skills behind the wheel but also gives them the tools needed to understand the engineering and mechanics of the race car. Drivers who have participated in the program and have gone on to compete in the next level include Connor de Phillippi, Nicolas Dapero, Tatiana Calderon, Peter Dempsey, Conor Daly, Spencer Pigot, Victor Franzoni, Kyle Kaiser, Rinus VeeKay, Dalton Kellett, Rasmus Lindh and Sting Ray Robb.

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