Speedway, IN – Belardi Auto Racing took part in the eighth annual Chris Griffis Memorial Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, a part of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires off-season testing.
The trio of Victor Franzoni, Lucas Kohl and David Malukas made their initial outings in the infamous red IL-15’s.
Franzoni coming fresh off his freshman season competing in the top rung of the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires, was one of the four veterans taking place in the test sessions. The Brazilian had spent the majority of Saturday atop the time charts, ending sessions one and two in the top position, both times a tenth up on second place.
“The first day here at the Chris Griffis test was really positive for us, it was my first time with Belardi Auto Racing and I think we had a really good day. We finished first during the first two sessions and third in the final session. It was really good, I’m glad I could drive for Belardi, it was a huge pleasure. The team is really, really good and I enjoyed the atmosphere and everyone on the team. I will see what comes next year, but I am really happy that I was able to drive for Belardi at the end of the season.” – Victor Franzoni
Lucas Kohl made the jump up to the Indy Lights series from the beginning rung on the ladder the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. The young Brazilian really enjoyed having Indy Lights Veterans Victor Franzoni and Aaron Telitz there to lean on and ask questions to and it showed throughout the weekend that it was helping his progress. Lucas was able to knock four tenths off of his initial best lap later on in the weekend.
“It was a really nice day for me, my first experience in an Indy Lights car. It was quite hard getting used to it, but we will work hard tonight and get better for the last few sessions tomorrow.” – Lucas Kohl
Rounding out the lineup was Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires standout, David Malukas. On Saturday, Malukas pushing hard to find speed, made a slight mistake going through the chicane causing him to spin backwards and hit the wall. After his mistake Malukas quickly put the incident behind him and focused again on finding flat out speed. In the final session on Sunday as the sun was setting, he set his fastest time of the weekend, a 1:15.5 putting him fifth overall only 5 tenths off of first place.
“I’m really happy with how the test went, the Indy Lights car was absolutely incredible. It was a lot of fun, and I could definitely feel the 450 horsepower going to the wheels. Belardi is a great team, and I am really happy with how everything went. Obviously I had Victor who was a great teammate and someone I could go off of, so all thumbs up from my end. I did have a mistake going into the wall, but at least I got that out of the way, so I was just focused on moving past that. Overall I’d say I did definitely pick up a lot of time and reduced the gap to the other drivers, so I am really, really happy.” – David Malukas
Direct Contact: Jacob Donahue
Cell Phone: (317)-525-2217
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.