On Tuesday, BAR1 Motorsports announced that they will be fielding two cars for the upcoming IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America on Aug. 7. Matt McMurry, who drove the team’s No. 20 at Lime Rock Park, will remain in the car. He will be joined by veteran Bruno Junqueira. In addition, the team will bring the No. 26 to the track for the first time since the Rolex 24 at Daytona back in January. Full-time driver Johnny Mowlem will move over to the No. 26 for the weekend. There, he will be joined by Don Yount, who has raced with Mowlem in the three Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup races this year. Both cars will carry sponsorship from Gas Monkey Garage, Top 1 Oil and Southwest Funding.
Team owner Brian Alder is very happy to have Junqueira in the fold for Road America.
“This is an exciting announcement for our team,” Alder stated in a press release. “We’ve put a lot of work into making this happen. Bruno’s record in the PC cars speaks for itself. It’s especially his qualifying statistics that caught our eye. The feedback he and Johnny [Mowlem] can provide will be extremely valuable to our setups.”
“We’ve been struggling of late, but everyone is looking forward to building and moving forward,” Alder continued. “Having two cars will certainly change the dynamics, but in the end, it’s more usable data and twice the opportunity to get to the front. With Johnny and Bruno leading the charge, we’re on track to get it done.”
Junqueira has not raced in IMSA this season after spending the last for years racing in PC full-time for RSR Motorsports (two in the American Le Mans Series and two in the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (now the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. In that time, Junqueira has five career wins in the PC class, two of which came at Road America. Last year, Junqueira and teammate Chris Cumming finished third in PC points.
To most American race fans, Junqueira is best known for his time in CART and Champ Car. He first came to the United States in 2001 to replace Juan Pablo Montoya at Target Chip Ganassi Racing after Montoya went to Formula One to race for Williams. In 101 starts in the series for Ganassi, Newman/Haas Racing and Dale Coyne Racing, Junqueira won eight races, nine poles, finished on the podium 34 times and finished second in points three times (2002-2004).
RSR Motorsports, better known as Rocketsports, is currently running the F Performance Racing factory Lexus program. That team was supposed to debut the Lexus RC-F GT3 this season in GT Daytona, but the car has not been on pace in testing. The team is currently aiming for a 2017 debut for the Lexus.