Newton, IA (July 8, 2018) – Belardi Auto Racing showed up to the fast 7/8 mile Iowa Speedway with all the confidence in the world in their preparation and in their 2 drivers, and that immediately showed on the timing sheet during 1st practice Saturday afternoon.
Having a 45-minute session to get things really dialed in for the 100 lap Mazda Iowa 100 Presented by Cooper Tires, both Aaron Telitz and Santiago Urrutia had to make quick work in diagnosing what they liked and didn’t like in their Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires machines. Showing speed, the Belardi Auto Racing drivers ended the session in the 2nd and 3rd positions.
Heading into qualifying later that afternoon, track conditions changed drastically with the Mid-Western sun beating down on the track surface bringing the oils in the asphalt up to surface level.
Working with their engineers, Kent Boyer and Tim Neff, Telitz and Urrutia felt they had the setup on the car that would enable them to cut through the air and set a quick time in the 2 lap qualifying session. When all was said and done, and both drivers had completed their runs, the scoreboard showed Santiago Would start the race from 5th and teammate Aaron would start from 6th.
The 100 lap event got underway at 11:15 A.M. and in a fashion that is becoming typical for Santiago Urrutia, he jumped up from his starting position of 5th all the way up to 2nd.
The following 100 laps saw Santiago pushing as hard as possible to catch leader O’Ward, but unfortunately was not able to make up enough ground to battle for the top position. As the laps were winding down, the 3rd place car of Herta began slowly inching closer and closer to Urrutia. Trying as hard as he could to keep Herta behind, it ultimately ended with Santiago bringing the car home in 3rd.
“We got a great jump on the leaders on the first lap and I was able to move into 2nd behind Pato, and tried to gain as much ground as possible on him. It’s a long race, so tire conservation is key but when you are pushing that hard to try and catch the leader it makes that task difficult. We will take the points and move onto Toronto and do all we can for a couple of wins.” – Santiago Urrutia
Aaron Telitz went into the race riding the wave of momentum gathered from the most recent races and the 1st practice session. Unfortunately, on the start, Telitz was not able to get the jump he wanted and with the closeness of all of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires cars, Telitz was not able to advance his position from his starting spot of 7th.
“A bad start on my part turned into a pretty tough race for me. My Belardi Auto Racing car felt good, but I couldn’t make any passes unfortunately! I tried a few times on Victor, but couldn’t get it done. It’s a tough result, but we will move on to Toronto and get back up front where we belong.” – Aaron Telitz
Heading into rounds 11 and 12 Santiago Urrutia maintains his 3rd place spot in the points standings, only 49 points out of 1st place. Aaron Telitz drops down a spot to 6th, 102 points out of 1st place.
The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship and Belardi Auto Racing will be back in action July 13-15 on the bumpy and fast street course in Toronto. The double header weekend promises to be action packed as always. You can catch all the action using the Road to Indy TV app and by following @BelardiRacing on social media for behind the scenes action!
Direct Contact: Brian Belardi
About Belardi Auto Racing: Belardi Auto Racing is an organization comprised of experienced individuals in the racing industry with an aggressive growth strategy and a strong commitment to finishing up front. No stranger to winning, team members having been achieving success in both the amateur and pro ranks for over a decade, winning numerous junior formula car races and championships. Based in Brownsburg, IN, Belardi Auto Racing won the 2014 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship and has scored multiple races wins in both Indy Lights and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered By Mazda, including the Freedom 100 at Indianapolis and prestigious races like the Long Beach Grand Prix, the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and the Toronto Indy and events at tracks such as the Milwaukee Mile, Pocono, Road America, Watkins Glen and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.