KYLE KAISER CAPTURES FIRST WIN IN INDY LIGHTS AT PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
04 APRIL 2016
Avondale, AZ – Kyle Kaiser proved to be perfect in the third round of the 2016 Indy Lights Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, claiming his first win in the series and taking home his second pole of the season at Phoenix International Raceway. Kaiser’s win marks the first win for Juncos Racing this season and moves the American into the lead of the championship.
The weekend kicked off on a high note for Juncos Racing on the 1-mile oval located in Avondale, Arizona with both Kyle Kaiser (Santa Clara, California) and Zach Claman De Melo (Montreal, Canada) pacing the field in the final practice session.
The team carried the strong momentum into qualifying later that day where Kaiser put the #18 InterVision/NetApp/ JuniperNetworks car on the pole for the second time this season. Teammate Claman De Melo took the seventh starting position in the #13 Adidias/Seven For All Mankind car.
Kaiser continued his dominating performance for the Grand Prix of Phoenix leading all 90 laps and recording the fastest lap overall, scoring all possible points for the weekend. Claman De Melo finished 11th in his first oval appearance.
This win is the first win for Kaiser since moving up to the final step in the Mazda Road to Indy ladder and the third straight podium finish for the young American this season. Kaiser now leads the championship by 18 points.
“I felt last year that we were missing just a small piece to really break through and show what we had – and I think it was qualifying,” said Kaiser. “When you start up front, it’s so much easier to stay up front than it is to start mid-pack and try to work your way forward. So I have a different mindset this year; I have confidence going into every race weekend. But I was pretty nervous today, right up until the checkered flag came out because you never know what’s going to happen. The team, along with Mazda and Cooper Tires, really gave me a good car. It was perfect from start to finish. I was in conserve mode early because I knew it was a long race, so all I had to do was to maintain the gap between me and Ed to get the win.”
Teammate Claman De Melo’s performance continued to impress by finishing second overall in the final practice session in his first run on an oval.
“It was an interesting weekend overall,” said Claman De Melo. “I learned a lot and can’t complain. I gained a lot of experience and will carry it onto the next oval later this season.”
Team Principal Ricardo Juncos was extremely happy to see Kaiser pick up his first victory in the Indy Lights series and to take the lead for the championship.
“I am beyond thrilled with how this weekend played out for the entire Juncos Racing organization,” said Juncos. “We were very focused on giving Kyle and Zach fast cars and that showed on track. I want to congratulate Kyle on his first win in the Indy Lights series. His performance was flawless this entire weekend. From practice to qualifying and onto the race Kyle remained focused and that shows with the results. Zach really impressed everyone with the times he earned in practice in his first ever run on an oval. Even though he did not get the results he deserved, he really showed us again he will be one of the strongest rookies in the field this season. I have to thank everyone at Juncos Racing for all of their dedication and determination in giving these guys fast reliable cars. I am really looking forward to Barber Motorsports Park later this month where we were very strong last year.”
The 2016 Indy Lights Championship Presented by Cooper Tires season continues with Rounds 4 and 5 April 22nd – 24th on the 2.3 mile, 17-Turn road course at Barber Motorsports Park.