Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

Carlin adds Claman De Melo to Indy Lights lineup

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Zachary Claman De Melo is the third confirmed driver at Carlin’s Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires program, with the Canadian moving over from Juncos Racing.

It ends an interesting offseason of speculation for the teenager, who tested with Carlin at the Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Test, was linked to a move to Europe with the team before Carlin’s GP2 program ended, and now sees him in a Carlin car anyway. He also raced the Rolex 24 at Daytona with DAC Motorsports in a Lamborghini Huracán GT3, and finished 13th in the GT Daytona class.

Compared to teammates Garth Rickards and Matheus Leist, Claman De Melo will be the only one of these three drivers entering his sophomore season in the championship. The team has been rumored to expand to four cars, and such an expansion would all but ensure a landing spot for Rising Star Racing-supported American Neil Alberico ahead of a potential sophomore season.

Claman De Melo was quick and had a couple top-five finishes during a learning year in Indy Lights, and should be a little more consistent this year.

“We are very happy to have Zach join the team for 2017,” Trevor Carlin said in a release. “We’ve worked very successfully with Zach before and I think together we’ll get some great results this year.  It will be a tough field I think this season in Indy Lights, with some very strong/returning drivers and some quick rookies, but we’re putting together a strong package and are looking forward to getting on track at St Pete.”

He’s the 12th confirmed driver for Indy Lights this season, with the likelihood of two to three more still set to be revealed.

Takuma Sato’s likeness revealed on Borg-Warner Trophy (PHOTOS)

Photos; Walt Kuhn
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INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.

Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.

It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.

Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)