European Formula 3 champion to team with Zach Veach for championship attack
BROWNSBURG, IN (February 23, 2015) — Belardi Auto Racing is pleased to announce that they have added another extremely talented pilot to their driver roster for the upcoming 2016 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires program, teaming reigning European Formula 3 champion Felix Rosenqvist with multi-time series race winner Zach Veach to form an impressive one-two punch on the Mazda Road to Indy’s top rung. Rosenqvist tested with the operation at Homestead-Miami Speedway in January and topped the time charts, coming up to speed quickly as he became more comfortable with the car and the team. Felix and Zach will be back in their trademark red and white Belardi Dallara IL-15s this Thursday for an oval test at Phoenix International Raceway, ahead of the official MRTI test at Barber Motorsports Park on March 5.
“We’re thrilled to have a driver of Felix’s caliber to pair with Zach, as we were determined to provide him with a strong teammate,” offered team Principal Brian Belardi. “After winning the championship with Gabby (Chaves) in 2014, our whole squad has raised its game and our expectations and I’m confident that with these two talented young men in our cars, we’ll contend for both wins and the title itself. I’m very impressed with Felix and I’m excited for the season to begin.”
Rosenqvist, 24, has won everything there is to win in international Formula 3 competition, so a transition to the Indy Lights program is a solid career move for the accomplished Swedish driver. Victories in the Masters of Formula 3 and Macau Grand Prix marquee events add prestige to his resume, which is headlined by his European F3 championship in 2015, which came on the strength of 13 wins and 24 podiums in the 33 races that were held.
The Swede’s rise through the open wheel ranks has been punctuated with wins and championships. Before adding the Euro F3 title last year, Felix won the Formula Renault 2.0 Asia crown in 2008 and backed that up with the championship effort in the Formula Renault 2.0 Sweden series. Rosenqvist moved to the German F3 series in 2010 and won two races en route to fifth in the championship, and then advanced into the Euro F3 series in 2011 finishing fifth overall with his first win in the series coming at Hockenheimring.
“I’m really excited about racing in the US this year, and doing so with Belardi Auto Racing,” said Rosenqvist. “Testing went very well and I got to grips with the car pretty much straight away. I like the way the team operates, and the racing seems a lot of fun with a wide variety of circuits and pure driving. Racing on this side of the world will be very different to what I’m used to, but certainly a challenge I’m already relishing.”
The opening round of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires is set for March 11-13 as part of the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida.