French rookie focused on strong start to championship title with Belardi Auto Racing.
FRANCE – Alex Baron will take his next step up the motorsports ladder this weekend (March 30), when he makes his Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires debut on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. The fast rising French driver is poised to further showcase his talents in the top rung of the prestigious Mazda Road to Indy program, joining forces with series race winner Belardi Auto Racing, building on what was a double win North American debut last season, and a strong showing in the off-season.
Baron enters the first of 14 races on the championship calendar with plenty of momentum, as part of a highly-regarded two-car effort by 2013 series race winner Belardi Auto Racing. The No. 4 Liberty Engineering/13th Avenue/Synova/Stand 21/Bell pilot has enjoyed a quick transition from the USF2000 Championship ranks to the more powerful Indy Lights racing steed, not only showcasing good pace in private testing, but also impressing in official series outings. Baron topped the speed charts during his debut outing in the Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Test, and ran among the top-four in Winterfest testing. Given both Baron and Belardi Auto Racing sprayed champagne from the top step of the podium in 2013, the pieces are in place to start his latest championship charge off in fine fashion.
"In a few days I'll make my Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires debut, and it will be a great moment for me," stated Baron. "Belardi Auto Racing has been working very hard to be ready for St. Pete, and we are all very eager to see where our performance is after this long winter testing period. I am fortunate to have Gabby [Chaves] as my teammate, and my goal for the first race is to be very close to him and to score big points. I want to fight for the championship, and I'm very excited about the opportunity that has been given to me by Brian Belardi and John Brunner. I will do everything to make them proud of their decision, and put my red Belardi car out front."
Baron's quest for Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires wins and the series title commences on Friday (March 28), with the first of two 45-minute practice sessions. Qualifying for Round One on the 1.8-mile St. Petersburg street circuit takes place on Saturday (March 29) afternoon, with the season-opener slated for 12:40 pm on Sunday (March 30).