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Former champion Indy Lights team Belardi shuts down

Belardi Auto Racing, which ran Gabby Chaves to the Indy Lights title in 2014, is to close its doors for the final time.

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Former champion Indy Lights team Belardi shuts down

Chaves, Felix Rosenqvist, Felix Serralles, Peter Dempsey, Zach Veach (pictured above), Aaron Telitz, Santiago Urrutia, Zachary Claman de Melo and Alexandre Baron combined won a total of 21 races for the squad, two of which came in the Indy Lights series’ marquee race, the Freedom 100.

Now team owner Brian Belardi says he “has decided with a heavy heart that it is time to leave the racing world behind.”

He went on: “This decision did not come lightly, but after the cancellation of the 2020 Indy Lights season by IndyCar leadership, this year has proven to be a time of great uncertainty indeed.

“With more than a decade of history starting out with an USF2000 team and then dedicating its focus to an Indy Lights team, Belardi Auto Racing earned a team championship, a driver championship, two Freedom 100s and numerous race wins and podium finishes.

“Belardi Auto Racing has been blessed to have a solid crew led by John Brunner. Brunner brought many years of experience and expertise to the team with his long history in the racing industry. Belardi Auto Racing could not have earned its success without the team that consisted of Ross McLeod, Chuck Lessick, Elliot Nunn, Kyle Burch, Kent Boyer, Jonathan Ghormley, Francis Reilly, Nathaniel Toney and Jacob Donahue.

“Also, thank you to their former team members; David Lehman, Rick Duman, Brian Hornick, Mike Meyers, Lou D’Agostino, Joe D’Agostino, Veronica Knowlton, Len Paskus, Tom Vasi, Jim Desautel, Geoff Fickling, Tim Neff and others that all made Belardi Auto Racing become a successful team. Belardi Auto Racing wishes nothing but the best for them in the future. Your dedication to making this a great team will not be forgotten…

“I never wanted this day to come, but for several reasons, including my personal health, it is time to close this chapter. Open Wheel racing will always be a part of who I am. It isn’t something you can just let go or forget about, so you can bet I will still be watching every race and following all of the young talent that is coming up the ladder.”

Belardi has also gotten involved in the last three Indy 500s helping to support James Davison’s one-off attempts at AJ Foyt Racing in 2018 and then Dale Coyne Racing for the past two seasons.

Chaves tweeted: "Thank you Brian, John, Jill and everyone at Belardi. An opportunity that changed my future."

IndyCar team owner Bryan Herta commented: "Sad to see this. Belardi gave many young drivers a boost on the Road to Indy."

 
 
Gabby Chaves heading to the 2014 Indy Lights championship.

Gabby Chaves heading to the 2014 Indy Lights championship.

Photo by: Rebecca McKay

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About this article

Series Indy Lights
Author David Malsher-Lopez