Callum Ilott is once again the target of fan outrage after he and his team-mate Agustin Canapino touched while fighting for position at Laguna Seca.
The abuse has come from overzealous fans of Canapino, who largely reside the racer’s home country of Argentina, and feel that their favorite driver was wronged by his British team-mate.
Ilott’s social media posts following the season finale were bombarded with cruel and threatening messages, to the point that he made his accounts private to limit the attacks.
Argentinian television also seemed to focus heavily on the incident following the race, inviting more people to question if Ilott was at fault.
Over 24 hours after the race was completed, well after the online comments had spiraled out of control, Juncos Hollinger Racing released a statement acknowledging the abuse and ‘kindly requesting’ no further negative comments.
“Let’s not let yesterday’s on-track incident overshadow all the great accomplishments we’ve achieved as a team this season,” read the team’s statement.
“We kindly request that there are no negative comments directed towards any of our driver, both now and in the future, as these comments do no align with the team’s philosophy.
“Let the collective power of our supporters be a force for good!”
The incident itself involved the two drivers touching while battling for position late in the race, with Canapino’s front wing being knocked askew in the scuffle.
Both were fighting for a top five position at the time of the incident, but Canapino quickly slipped down the order and finished in 14th as his car suffered from a lack of downforce.
Race control did not assign any blame or penalties for the collision, and it was officially deemed to be a racing incident.
Ilott has raced with JHR for both of his years in IndyCar. Photo: Kevin Dejewski
This is the second time this season that Ilott has been the target of vicious comments online from Canapino’s supporters, with the first round coming after the race at Long Beach.
The fan’s comments in March also seemed to unfairly assign blame to Ilott, and garnered an official response from IndyCar as well as from JHR.
The latest incident comes as Ilott enters the offseason without anything officially confirmed for the 2024 season, although signs point to him returning to JHR, especially considering a number of other available seats have been claimed in recent weeks.
Canapino is also thought to be returning to the team for a second season, which would put the two drivers under the same umbrella again.
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