Madison, IL (August 26, 2018) – The final oval event for Belardi Auto Racing in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship took place Saturday evening at the Gateway Motorsports Park.
The weekend kicked off on a very low note, with rain washing out the majority of Friday. As the rain let up, the Gateway Motorsports Park crew worked extremely hard and were able to dry the track enough to allow for a 30-minute practice session right as the sun started to set.
As Aaron and Santiago took to the racetrack, they immediately started working on race setup, as they knew a good setup would come in handy when they faced traffic. As practice wrapped up, Santiago Urrutia wound up 5th with Aaron in 7th, but they knew what they wanted to change to make their Belardi machines head to the front.
The crew stayed all night to make the necessary changes, their dedication to the Belardi Auto Racing team and its drivers is unparalleled. The schedule for Saturday had to be changed due to the Friday rain and it now had the Indy Lights cars having a second practice session (15 minutes). A final session to dial the cars in for qualifying.
Qualifying was held about 30 minutes after practice, so the team only had a handful of minutes to get the cars into qualifying trim and ready to attack the oval. Aaron rolled out 2nd, and put down a fast lap (158.412 MPH) putting him 4th on the time sheet. Santiago Rolled out 5th for his shot at the top and would have to settle for a speed of 158.102 MPH putting him 7th on the starting grid.
The race got off to a crazy start with Santi making his way from 7th to 3rd before the group got back to the start/finish line. As the drivers settled into their pace, Aaron and Santiago began to draft each other around and try and catch the 3 cars ahead of them. As the race began to wind down, Santiago and Aaron were able to chip away at the lead, registering their fastest laps only a tenth off Herta who had clean air out front. Ultimately just running out of time, both drivers brought the cars home clean with Santiago Urrutia in 4th and Aaron Telitz in 5th.
The last race of the season is the coming week for the Belardi Auto Racing team in the Soul Red Finale at the Portland International Raceway on August 31st – September 2nd. You can catch all the action by using the Road to Indy TV app and keep up with all of Belardi Auto Racing’s progress during the weekend by following @BelardiRacing on social media!
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.