American driver turns in consistent finishes to remain in title contention
MANSFIELD, OHIO (August 4, 2016) – Belardi Auto Racing has enjoyed an extremely solid couple of months on the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires circuit, winning three races on the strength of five podium finishes and seven top-five results. Stockdale, Ohio’s Zach Veach extended the team’s top-five run at the recent Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, posting a pair of strong finishes on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course. Veach drove his #5 JD Equipment entry to fourth in the opening race on Saturday and then capped the weekend with a fine run to fifth on Sunday. These results come hot on the heels of Veach’s win at Road America, his second place finish at Iowa and Felix Rosenqvist’s sweep of the victories on the streets of Toronto. The team has good momentum heading into the next event at Watkins Glen International.
“Our team is extremely focused on winning races and our recent victories have only served to strengthen the expectations that we have for ourselves,” offered Brian Belardi, Team Principal. “We know we have a team that can win races, and we expect to run in the top-five and contend for victory every weekend. Zach turned in a strong and consistent performance for us at Mid-Ohio and he rewarded the team’s hard work with a pair of top-fives that keep us in the championship fight. With three races to go, we’re ready to fight.”
The Mid-Ohio event featured a compact schedule for the Indy Lights drivers and teams, with just four on-track sessions. A Friday morning practice session was followed by qualifying in the afternoon, and daily races on Saturday and Sunday, so Veach needed to come up to speed quickly, and was able to post the seventh fastest time of the session, which would put him on the inside of row four for the start of Race 1. The team had tested at Mid-Ohio in June, but the track is notorious for its changing conditions, and with a full day of Mazda Road to Indy testing by the USF2000 and Pro Mazda teams, the racing surface was uncharacteristically ‘grippy’ on Friday.
In the two races, Veach was able to make up any ground during the first couple of laps. On Saturday, he was able to advance quickly to fifth on the opening lap and then made a pass for fourth on the second circuit. Zach fought valiantly to hold the position, but he lost a little pace with the car and slipped to fifth. Sunday’s race seemed to be a mirror image on the start as Zach was again able again to get up to fifth before a mid-race spin by Felix Serralles advanced him to fourth. It was a strong points haul for the team, as Veach now sits just 52 points out of the lead. He’ll need a strong run of finishes and a little luck to steal away the championship, but the team is up for the challenge.
The Belardi squad will get a little break in the competition schedule as the next event is set for Watkins Glen International on September 2-3 for a single race, as the series joins the Verizon IndyCar Series on the 3.4-mile, 11-turn circuit in western New York.
BELARDI AUTO RACING – DRIVER RESULTS AND QUOTES
INDY LIGHTS – ROUND 14-15 – JULY 29-31, 2016
MID-OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE – MANSFIELD, OHIO
Zach Veach – #5
Qualifying: 7th – 1:12.0822
Race #1: Start – 7th / Finish – 4th
Race #2: Start – 7th / Finish – 5th
Driver Quote: “Overall, Mid-Ohio was a good weekend for points for us with two top-five’s after a tough qualifying session. Starting seventh both days, we were able to get to fifth the first day and fourth the second. We were a little behind the eight ball after an electrical issue altered our only practice session, but my Belardi guys did an incredible job! Also, it was a great honor to have Ohio’s #1 John Deere dealer, JD Equipment, on our car throughout the whole weekend!”
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, Toronto and Road America.
Possible Caption: Belardi Auto Racing’s Zach Veach delivered a strong and consistent performance for the team at Mid-Ohio, carding a pair of top-five finishes in the Indy Lights doubleheader (Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)
For Immediate Release: August 4, 2016
Contact: Brian Belardi
Prepared by: ProMedia Motorsports PR
Additional photos available upon request