Belardi Auto Racing Returns to Street Action in California
 April 11, 2014| 
  • Team News

Skilled duo of Baron and Chaves set to challenge for top honors at Grand Prix of Long Beach after season-opening podium finish

Brownsburg, Ind.  - After a visit to the post-race podium at the 2014 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season-opener in Florida, Belardi Auto Racing has set its sights set on going one better in race two this coming weekend (April 20) on the streets of Long Beach, Calif. Returning championship contender Gabby Chaves enters the second consecutive street circuit poised to do just that, as the current P2 man in the title fight enters as a previous contender for the race win at the historic event. French rookie Alex Baron meanwhile makes it two racers for the Indiana-based squad capable of standing on the top step in California, having shown speed and racecraft in his series debut.

A key ingredient to any championship run, is getting a good start to the season, and scoring valuable points. Belardi Auto Racing is already doing that, having commenced its quest for the 2014 Indy Lights campaign with a strong effort in round one of the 14-race championship campaign. Chaves was the driver to beat entering the opener at the Streets of St. Petersburg, topping the speedcharts in his No. 5 Marca Colombia/Coldeportes racer prior to the race action. While Chaves ultimately did not come home with the race win he or the team desired, the runner-up finish did set an early tone of success for the both the title contender and his elite squad. Now Chaves is keen to build on that performance in southern California via a second traight street race. With the added bonus of just missing out on the win one year ago during the IndyCar Series event, the highly-regarded racer is excited and confident to do just that.

‘We started the championship on the right foot with a pole and podium, now we need to focus our efforts to learn from mistakes and improve one position to take our first win of this season at Long Beach!” commented Chaves.

It will not be a just a one-man show from the Belardi Auto Racing camp at Long Beach. Baron, contesting his second-ever Indy Lights start in the No. 4 Liberty Engineering/13th Avenue/Synova/Stand 21/Bell racer entry, has already indicated his intentions to be a front-runner. Overcoming his limited experience in the cars at the top-rung of the Mazda Road to Indy program, the French racer showcased both pace and racecraft in his series debut, battling for a podium finish before an incident ended his run behind the wheel. The goal now is to build on the experiences from Florida, combine that with Belardi Auto Racing’s expertise to take the next step and once again be part of the fight for positions at the front of the field.

The on-track action for Belardi Auto Racing and the rest of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires field on the Streets of Long Beach gets underway on Friday (April 11) with the first of two 45-minute practice sessions. The lone qualifying run takes place on Saturday (April 12), with race two on the series calendar at 10:15 am local time on the 1.968 mile Grand Prix of Long Beach street circuit.

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