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.
The knee injury that kept Malcolm Stewart from mounting up for Anaheim 2 will require surgery and he will be sidelined for “an extended duration” of the Monster Energy Supercross season, according to the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team.
“I just wanted to give you guys an update,” Stewart said on Instagram. “It’s not the news you guys want to hear, but I took a spill last week and hurt my knee pretty bad to the point that we’re going to have to get surgery done.
“I’m definitely bummed out about it; I felt we were riding pretty good and were just now starting to get the ball rolling, but it is what it is.”
Stewart’s season started with high expectations until accidents in the first two rounds left him 15th in the standings.
He ended 2022 on a high note, finishing a career high third in the Supercross standings. He then missed the start of the Pro Motocross season with another knee injury.
The 2023 season appeared to live up to his expectations. Despite back-to-back accidents, Stewart contended for podiums at both Anaheim 1 and San Diego. He won his heat at San Diego.
“It was very tough to receive the news that Malcolm will need to undergo knee surgery,” Nathan Ramsey, Team Manager for the Husqvarna team said in a press release. “He has worked so hard to be in a position to win races this year and I truly believe he was ready.
“The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing program will support him in every way that we can through his recovery and we can’t wait to get him back on track and back at the races.”
Stewart joins 250 rider Jalek Swoll on the sidelines after he broke an arm in a practice session. Swoll will be relieved by Talon Hawkins beginning this week at Houston, Texas.
A replacement rider has not been announced for Stewart, which means the focus shifts to his 450 teammate Christian Craig, who currently sits 12th in the standings with three top-15s in the opening rounds.