Austin Confirmed at Belardi for Freedom 100
 May 20, 2014| 
  • Team News

Austin’s race launches U.S. UNAIDS “Protect the Goal” campaign

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Belardi Auto Racing announced today a partnership with Starting Grid, Inc. that will have Chase Austin compete in the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, May 23.

Starting Grid, Inc. has been the facilitator of a motorsports diversity initiative in partnership with American Honda since 2011, and recently became the Global Motorsport Marketing Adviser for the UNAIDS “Protect the Goal” HIV/AIDS advocacy campaign in support of the FIFA World Cup.

Austin, who will be making his fourth consecutive start in the Freedom 100, will be at the controls of the No. 0 UNAIDS/Starting Grid/BAR entry.

“I am extremely happy being back in the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires series, and to race in the Freedom 100 with the defending champions, Belardi Auto Racing, is a great opportunity.” said Austin. “Obviously I am with a team that has the ability to run up front, and considering our new partnership supporting the UNAIDS ‘Protect the Goal’ campaign, and me becoming a global sporting ambassador for the program – I definitely want to do well for them, American Honda, Starting Grid and everybody who continues to believe in me.”

Starting Grid, Inc. team principal Chris Miles had this to say: “I cannot thank Brian [Belardi] enough for providing this opportunity mid-season as BAR contends for the Indy Lights championship, and for the continued support of American Honda. For sure this elevates our level of expectation regarding our program this year, but we still have to keep in mind, this is the seventh race of the championship and Chase’s first outing – however, I remain very optimistic regarding a positive outcome.”

“Additionally, we are extremely excited to utilize the Freedom 100 as an international backdrop to showcase the UNAIDS ‘Protect the Goal’ messaging of Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination and Zero AIDS-related deaths.” continued Miles.

Dr. Djibril Diallo, Senior Adviser to UNAIDS Executive Director added, “We are very encouraged that motorsports can be a positive messaging tool for the UNAIDS ‘Protect the Goal’ campaign on HIV and AIDS prevention. We have every bit of confidence in Starting Grid, Inc.’s motorsport activations to bring recognition and awareness for the countless millions of men, women and children around the world who are affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.”

“The time for an AIDS free generation is an urgent priority, whose time has come. Let’s therefore work towards Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination and Zero AIDS-related deaths.” said Dr. Diallo.

Practice for the Freedom 100 will take place on Thursday, May 22 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. ET, followed by qualifying from 1:15 p.m.-2:15 p.m. Pre-race activities begin at 12:15 p.m. on Friday, May 23, with an estimated green flag for the Freedom 100 at 12:30 p.m. that can be seen LIVE on NBC Sports Network. Check with your local cable or satellite provider for channel listings.

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About UNAIDS:
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of ZERO new HIV infections, ZERO discrimination and ZERO AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners to maximize results for the AIDS response. Learn more at unaids.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Starting Grid & Chris Miles:
In 1994, New Albany, Indiana native Chris Miles founded Starting Grid, Inc. in an effort to facilitate equal opportunities for minority participation within all facets of the motorsports industry. Starting Grid, Inc. has been the facilitator of a motorsports diversity initiative in partnership with American Honda since 2011. Presently, Starting Grid will help amplify the UNAIDS “Protect the Goal” HIV/AIDS advocacy campaign in partnership with the FIFA World Cup through various global motorsport activations as their Global Motorsport Marketing Adviser. For more information, visit www.startinggrid.com and connect on Twitter: @SGI_1994

About Belardi Auto Racing:
Belardi Auto Racing is an organization comprised of experienced individuals in the racing industry with an aggressive growth strategy and a strong commitment to finishing up front. No stranger to winning, team members having been achieving success in both the amateur and pro ranks for over a decade, winning numerous junior formula car races and championships. Based in Brownsburg, Ind., Belardi Auto Racing contests multi-car efforts in both the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda series. Goal- oriented and focused on developing the next stars of motorsports, Belardi Auto Racing won in both Indy Lights and USF2000 Championship in 2013.

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