It’s been nearly a decade since the NTT IndyCar Series has last had a championship round outside North America. Since the final São Paulo Indy 300 in 2013, the only regularly scheduled IndyCar race outside of the United States has been on the streets of Toronto. However, IndyCar is going to be getting help reinvigorating interest in South America from one of the series’ smallest teams.
Juncos Hollinger Racing announced that it will be taking its No. 77 Chevrolet-powered Dallara IndyCar on an exhibition tour of Argentina in early November. Its open-wheel machine will be on display at the famed Michelangelo Tango house in Buenos Aires November 4. Then, the No. 77 will perform demonstration runs during the Turismo Nacional race weekend at Autódromo de Buenos Aires Oscar y Juan Gálvez November 5 and 6. The tour closes November 9, when Juncos Hollinger Racing will conduct a private test 740 miles northwest of Buenos Aires at Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo, the current home of MotoGP’s Argentine Grand Prix.
The brief tour of Argentina largely came to fruition thanks to the impetus of the team’s Argentinean co-owner and team principal Ricardo Juncos. He said:
“For many years we have been trying to bring a NTT IndyCar Series car to Argentina and today to be in the position to officially announce the car will be returning for an exhibition after 51 years is amazing. This gives us a lot of pride as Argentineans and for all that this means. Since we are linked to Chevrolet in the United States and to have Agustin Canapino as the driver will be one of the greatest moments of motorsports in our community. When Alberto Canapino was with us at the 24 Hours of Daytona, we thought of what a great moment this would be to see Agustin in an NTT IndyCar Series car and from that point on, on my promise that is what we were going to make happen. Regardless of the team and effort it would take, today it is a reality and I am sure Alberto would be so proud of this moment.”
Argentinean stock car champion Agustín Canapino will replace the team’s regular driver Callum Illot during the tour. Canapino’s father and legendary stock car engineer Alberto Canapino passed away in February 2021 from COVID-19. As mentioned by Juncos, the last time IndyCar visited Argentina was for the 1971 USAC season-opener. It would be fantastic if IndyCar held a points-paying round at Termas de Rio Hondo to plug the early season gaps in its current schedule while expanding the commercial reach of the championship.