Juncos Racing has added Austrian driver Rene Binder to its 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series program with a deal that has the potential to expand beyond four initially confirmed races.
Binder will step into Juncos’ No. 32 Indy car for the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg as well as the series’ visits to Barber Motorsports Park, the streets of Toronto and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
At 26 years old, Binder will begin his foray into IndyCar following a year contending for the World Series Formula V8 3.5 championship. The experienced GP2/FIA Formula 2 Championship driver is the nephew to former Formula One pilot Hans Binder and son to former racer Franz Binder.
“I am honored to be a part of the Verizon IndyCar Series for the 2018 season,” Binder said. “I have been a huge fan of INDYCAR and what the series has to offer to me as a driver.
“I had a hard decision to make this year on which path I would take in my career, and I am confident that I made the right decision. Right now, we have signed for four races, but I hope to add more to our schedule as the season progresses.”
Juncos announced in October the graduation of reigning Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion Kyle Kaiser to the team’s IndyCar effort with a partial program of his own. With the addition of Binder, Juncos will be present at eight of 17 races this year.
“Rene has a successful background running in the World Series V8 and GP2, along with the testing he has done within Formula 1, and I know he will carry that momentum into the Verizon IndyCar Series this year,” said team owner Ricardo Juncos.
“The timing is right for a talented driver like Rene to join, as everyone will be starting over with the new IndyCar aero kits.”
Binder will turn his first laps in an Indy car in a test at the end of February before competing between the concrete barriers of the tight St. Petersburg circuit on March 9–11, 2018.