Aaron Telitz will race for Belardi Auto Racing’s Indy Lights team next season, although neither team nor driver are yet able to comment on the deal.
Wisconsin-born Telitz scored six wins and seven other podium finishes to clinch the Pro Mazda title this year ahead of Team Pelfrey teammate Patricio O’Ward. The championship victory earned him a Mazda Road To Indy scholarship prize worth almost $600,000.
Telitz will start the 2017 season as one of the favorites for the Indy Lights crown. After taking Gabby Chaves to the 2014 Lights title, Belardi struggled in the first season of the Dallara IL15-Mazda, with Felix Serralles and Juan Piedrahita finishing seventh and eighth in the points last year, with just one win and two podium finishes between them.
However, in 2016 the team rebounded with a total of six wins – three for part-timer Felix Rosenqvist, and another three for Zach Veach who went on to finish fourth in the championship.
Telitz, 24, who finished fourth and third in his two USF2000 seasons, is expected to rejoin battle with his former teammate O'Ward in next year's Lights championship. O'Ward is currently seeking sponsorship to run with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, with whom he tested at Barber Motorsports Park on Monday.
Team owner Schmidt told Motorsport.com that O'Ward was "very, very impressive - exactly as we expected him to be."