Unable to secure a full-time IndyCar ride for 2019, 20-year-old Canadian driver Zachary Claman Demelo said Tuesday that he will return to compete in the Indy Lights Series, according to IndyCar.com.
Claman Demelo, who led seven laps in the 2018 Indianapolis 500 and drove nine races for Dale Coyne Racing last season, has signed to race in the 2019 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires season for Belardi Auto Racing.
“We are thrilled to have someone with Zachary’s caliber of talent join our lineup at Belardi Auto Racing for the 2019 Indy Lights season,” team owner Brian Belardi said in a media release. “The experience he brings from not only the IndyCar Series, but as a race-winning driver in the Indy Lights category will really pay off, and I personally am excited to see where the team goes this year.”
Claman Demelo has 34 prior Indy Lights starts on his racing resume, including a win in 2017 at Road America.
With significant movement of drivers in and out of the series following the 2018 campaign, Claman Demelo feels his chances of contending for the championship and the series’ $1.1 million scholarship prize are good.
“I am very excited to be joining Belardi Auto Racing for the upcoming season,” Claman Demelo said. “The team has a great track record for being very competitive and for getting drivers to IndyCar and keeping them there.
“Being back in Indy Lights will be good for my development as a driver and as a competitor. But my only goal going into this season is to win the championship.”