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Mazda Road to Indy

Dapero “Looking Forward to Learning and Doing Well” in Indy Lights

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With a solid season of Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires under his belt, Nicolas Dapero will move up to the final step of the Mazda Road to Indy for this upcoming season.

As announced in November, Nicolas Dapero will run the full Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires schedule for Juncos Racing in 2017.

“I’m really happy,” Dapero told POPULAR SPEED. “The team is a good, have lots of experience as they finished third. I’m going to learn from my teammates, and I’m looking forward to learning and doing well.”

Going into the year, Dapero says his goal is to “try to win Rookie of the Year, and win the most races as possible”, while looking most forward to racing at Watkins Glen and Road America.

As Dapero noted, Juncos Racing has experience in Indy Lights, finishing third in the final Indy Lights standings with Kyle Kaiser behind the wheel. Kaiser announced in December he would remain with the organization for another season.

“He’s going to be a championship contender because he’s been in the series for three years,” Dapero said. “He has a lot of experience and having him will be good as you can learn a lot to as a driver, outside of the racecar and in the car.”

Dapero also has some experience on his side with a successful rookie season in Pro Mazda last year, scoring a win and multiple podiums en route to finishing fifth in the series standings. The Argentina native began with Juncos Racing in 2015, testing throughout the year in preparation for the 2016 Pro Mazda schedule. He then made his series debut at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Series Official test.

“I think I did a really good job for my first time in the U.S.,” he said. “I didn’t know the tracks, but I was able to get a win – first time at Laguna Seca. The other thing is while there wasn’t many drivers, there was good drivers and some races I did good, others not so much. So my first podium was my first time on an oval so I think it was a pretty good season.”

Dapero added the biggest thing he learned is to try and remain focused throughout the entire race weekend, while making “the most of the tires”.

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Ashley McCubbin

Currently the Executive Editor for Popular Speed, Ashley McCubbin also runs Short Track Musings, while handling media relations for OSCAAR. Currently living in Bradford, Ontario, she spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area taking photos.