From all of us at Belardi Auto Racing - Welcome!
We are a team with cars competing in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Presented by Mazda, as well as Firestone Indy Lights Championship under the IZOD IndyCar Series' Mazda Road to Indy development program.
For the 2014 racing season, Belardi Auto Racing has 2 Indy Lights Drivers and 3 USF2000 drivers. For more information on our drivers, please visit our Drivers page.
Indy Freedom 100 Indiana -May 22 -23rd, 2014
CHAVES WINS FREEDOM 100 FOR BELARDI AUTO RACING
Back-to-back oval wins at Indianapolis for emerging powerhouse
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 24, 2014) – The final lap of the Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway once again provided a thrilling finish to the annual Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires event, and for the second straight year, Belardi Auto Racing found itself in victory lane. The architect of this year’s win was Gabby Chaves, as the young Columbian-American worked to the outside of Matthew Brabham coming off our turn four on the final lap to win a drag-race to the line by just 0.005 seconds. The race itself was a 40-lap flat-out chess match and Chaves played the strategy perfectly, moving into the challenge position to begin the last circuit, putting himself in position to vie for the win despite getting wide and a little loose in turn one after taking over second. Belardi’s rookie driver Alex Baron drove a hard-fought race to finish seventh. Chase Austin also joined the Belardi Auto Racing squad for the Freedom 100, but his race came to a scary end on lap 15 when he spun and made hard contact with the inside wall.
“Gabby’s win was a great moment for the team, and to have another exciting finish like that was just unreal,” exclaimed team owner Brian Belardi, through the emotions of being in victory lane at Indianapolis once again. “I’m so happy for Gabby and team. We missed the set-up a little in qualifying and grinded through – but I knew we had a great car for the race. When Gabby got wide and loose in turn one to start the final lap, it thought we were done – but Gabby was the driver I know he is and he charged it back to the front.”
The win was a tremendously important recovery for the Belardi squad, which ran into troubles during the Grand Prix of Indianapolis after finishing one-two in the feature race at Barber Motorsports Park at the end of April. Both Belardi entries dealt with engine issues during the IMS road course events on May 9-10, and Baron’s third place finish in Race #2 was the lone highlight. To come back just two weeks later and win the biggest race of the year will certainly provide more motivation to push forward in the championship chase.
“I’m so happy, I’m so happy for the team,” enthused Chaves from victory lane. “We had a rough weekend last race here in Indy and to bounce back with a win in the biggest race of the year, nothing better.”
As a result of the victory, Chaves will move back into the Indy Lights championship lead by a single point over Zach Veach. This win was the third of the season for Chaves having won previously at Long Beach and Barber.
Coming off the strong finish in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, Baron had high expectations coming into the Freedom 100. While the team struggled slightly in qualifying, they knew that they had a good car for the race. Baron’s event did not play out as well as it did for Chaves, however, as he found himself mired back in seventh position without the power needed to leverage the draft. While it was supremely disappointing, Baron remains in sixth position in the overall points and is a threat for any race win during the remainder of the schedule.
Austin’s day was the worst of the three Belardi drivers. Chase’s car was very quick early on, but he battled some oversteer that eventually caught him out in turn one. As his car lost rear traction at the apex, his attempts to correct fell just short as the car drifted to the inside of the track and eventually onto the grass. Chase was not able to maintain control and made contact with the tires protecting the inside retaining wall. The damage was severe, but the carbon tub of his Dallara did its job and Austin escaped serious injury. Chase injured his wrist and will be undergoing surgery this evening. The team sends him their best wishes.
The team will now take a six-week break in the schedule before heading to Pocono Raceway on July 4-6 for Round #8 of the Indy Lights campaign.
COMPLETE LISTING OF ALL PRESS RELEASES
After Indy Freedom 100 May 23 2014 - Indy Lights
|Gabby Chaves #5||264||#1 (Tied)|
|Alex Baron #4||209||#6|
After Lucas Oil Raceway May 24 2014 - USF2000
|Nico Jammin #41||74||#12|
|Daniel Burkett #4||85||#8|
|Jeroen Slaghekke #44||65||#13|
Check in this month for all the recent updates for the Indy Lights upcoming season! Looking forward to sharing the news on our line-up for 2014.