Telitz confirmed at Belardi
Pro Mazda champion Aaron Telitz has joined Belardi Auto Racing for 2017, driving the #9 entry in the ‘Soul Red’ colors borne by all Mazda Road To Indy champions.
The Rice Lake, Wisc. native earned the Mazda driver development scholarship as the 2016 Pro Mazda champion wit Team Pelfrey last year and so he joins Santiago Urrutia and Shelby Blackstock at Belardi.
Describing his move to Belardi, which Motorsport.com revealed last year, Telitz said: “John Brunner, the team’s general manager, and [team owner] Brian Belardi invited me to the IndyCar/Indy Lights race at Watkins Glen last fall before the Pro Mazda season ended,” he said. “I had a head-start in knowing the guys and seeing how the team works and knowing their cars are fast.
“They won that weekend and then again at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. I just really enjoyed how the Belardi guys worked. They were really professional.
“And Brian is from Wisconsin. It’s great to have that home-state connection, as most of my personal supporters are from Wisconsin.”
On the subject of teammates, Telitz added: “It’s a huge advantage to have veteran drivers on your team in your first year. You know when you’re in the ballpark because those guys have a better idea of how the car should work and the changes that need to be made.
“We’ll all learn as the season goes on, but to have them there to lead in the early stages is going to be a big advantage for me.”
Belardi who last year ran Zach Veach fulltime and Felix Rosenqvist parttime, said: “We’re extremely excited to have Aaron on the team for 2017, and it’s a thrill to have the Mazda Soul Red colors under our tent this year. Mazda has done so much for the American open wheel ladder system.
“I know that we share their deep passion for winning, as does Aaron. To have a quality young man and talented racecar driver like him as part of our family, I know that we’ll all be dedicated to achieving great success this year.”
“All of us at Mazda are thrilled to have Aaron carrying Mazda’s Soul Red color in 2017 with Belardi Auto Racing,” said John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports. “To see a talent like Aaron achieve success in the Mazda Road to Indy is ultimately what the program is all about. When he pulled into victory lane after winning the Pro Mazda Championship last fall, I told Aaron that he needed to savor the moment and remember all of the challenges he faced getting there.”
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