Big news surfaced yesterday afternoon from Juncos Racing when the team announced it had signed Connor De Phillippi and Martin Scuncio to its Star Mazda team and Joao Horto to its Indy Lights program, adding considerable depth to both Mazda Road to Indy feeder series.
Hopes were high that De Phillippi would graduate to Indy Lights this season, but appropriate funding was unattainable in the allotted time during the off-season. De Phillippi, 19, should be considered a favorite for the 2012 Star Mazda crown after finishing second in the 2011 (four wins).
Scuncio will return to the team after completing a limited Star Mazda season in 2011 (six starts; two podiums). Both drivers are fast and should compliment each other as well as previously-announced Star Mazda teammates Bruno Palli and Diego Ferreira.
Joao Horto will move up to Indy Lights in 2012 after finishing fourth (one win, four podiums) in the 2011 Star Mazda championship with Juncos Racing. Last season was his second year in Star Mazda, he finished seventh in 2010 with four podiums for Team Apex.
Horto, 21, was fourth quickest in pre-season Indy Lights testing at Sebring International Raceway and fastest among rookies at the test.