Reigning Mazda Road to Indy champions motivated for success in Wisconsin
BROWNSBURG, Ind. — For reigning Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship team Belardi Auto Racing, the month of May had its highs and lows. The high points included two very successful oval tests with their drivers Juan Piedrahita and Felix Serralles, as they were both extremely quick both at Chicagoland Raceway and in pre-race testing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway leading up to the Freedom 100. The eventual results did not portray their truly impressive speed and it is armed with that knowledge that they look forward to this weekend’s Indy Lights event at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, WI.
“Our team is excited by the speed we’ve shown in testing, and now we just need to put a full weekend together,” commented Brian Belardi, who will be trackside with the squad in Milwaukee this weekend after an illness. “Our guys are determined, we know we have the pace, and all we need is a little luck. Juan has run on the Mile a few times, so there is a level of comfort there, and Felix was very strong in our test back in May. We’re very optimistic for a great showing.”
Unlike many others in the Indy Lights paddock, who have only tested on the Milwaukee Mile, Piedrahita has spent time on the 1.015-mile circuit during his run up the Mazda Road to Indy and he really enjoys the challenging track. In 2011, he finished third in the USF2000 race, and in 2013, he chased eventual champion Matthew Brabham to another strong third in the Pro Mazda race to finish on the podium for a second time. Last year, in his rookie season of Indy Lights competition, the Columbian finished sixth, outgunning two of his four teammates.
Serralles, on the other hand, will make his competition debut on the famed Wisconsin track. Felix was very quick during the May test, and this should give him confidence heading into the weekend. The drivers are coming off a solid event in Toronto, where Piedrahita scored his best finish of the year with a fourth in the second race of the doubleheader on the Canadian street circuit.
Belardi’s Indy Lights drivers will turn their first laps on the Mile on the afternoon of Saturday, July 11 with a 45-minute practice session at 4:00 pm Central time. A 45-minute qualifying session will take place at 6:30 pm that evening to set the grid for the 100-lap race on Sunday, July 12 at 2:00 pm. The drivers will also get a morning warm-up at 10:15 am on Sunday to prepare for the main event. Live timing and live commentary will be available on the series website (www.indylights.com) and on the new Road to Indy app, which is available free for iPhones and Android devices through iTunes or Google Play.
BELARDI AUTO RACING — DRIVER INFORMATION
JUAN PIEDRAHITA – #5
Hometown: Bogota, Columbia
Residence: Indianapolis, Indiana
Sponsors: Petrosur, Coldeportes, Marca Columbia
Point Standings: 7th — 135 points
Best Finish: 4th — Toronto — Race 2
Driver Input: “I think that Milwaukee is the hardest track of the calendar. I’m really looking forward to racing here. It’s been a long time since we raced last and I can’t wait to get back in the car. I love the track, and I’ve been on the podium a couple of times, so I’m excited to return.”
FELIX SERRALLES – #4
Hometown: Ponce, Puerto Rico
Residence: Atlanta, Georgia
Sponsors: S&S Discount Tire, Sterling Performance, Skater Powerboats
Point Standings: 11th — 125 points
Best Finish: 3rd — Long Beach
Series: Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires
Event: Round #11 — Milwaukee Mile — Milwaukee, WI
Date: July 11-12, 2015
WEEKEND SCHEDULE (Central Time Zone):
Saturday, July 11
Practice 1: 4:00 pm — 4:45 pm
Qualifying: 6:30 pm — 7:15 pm
Sunday, July 12
Warm-up: 10:15 am — 10:45 am
Race: 2:00 pm — 3:00 pm