Podium Finish for Belardi Auto Racing in Wisconsin
 June 25, 2018| 
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Belardi RA 2018 Recap Web

Elkhart Lake, Wisc. -  With Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Rounds 8 & 9 being held on what is essentially Belardi Auto Racing’s home track, the support was felt all weekend long not only for the team but also for drivers Aaron Telitz and Santiago Urrutia.

Qualifying for race No. 1 on Friday saw both Aaron and Santi in contention for the front row the entire time, swapping the top spot with Colton Herta and Pato O’Ward throughout the 30-minute session. Ultimately, Santiago would start race No. 1 in the 2nd position and teammate Aaron Telitz and Wisconsin native, would start from the 5th position.

Immediately on the start, Urrutia was able to pull away from the 3rd place car of Colton Herta, while teammate Aaron Telitz was able to get around Pato O’Ward for the 3rd position in the first corner.

At the completion of lap 1, Aaron lost 4th position to O’Ward, which moved him back into his original starting spot.  Herta was able to get around Santiago, which meant Santiago had to do all he could to keep O’Ward in his rear view mirrors.  Coming off of a long straightaway leading into turn number 5, Santiago lost the 3rd position, but hung in doing all he could to take the spot back.

As the race played out, the top 2 cars had pulled away due to the battle between Santiago and O’Ward, ultimately leaving Santi and Aaron without a chance to catch the draft and challenge for the lead. At the end of the 20 lap event, Santiago Urrutia wound up in the 4th spot followed by teammate Aaron Telitz right behind him in 5th.

Qualifying for race No. 2 saw complete opposite track conditions than the previous days qualifying session, with temperatures very low. The cool air and wind made for tricky track conditions meaning the Belardi Auto Racing drivers really had their hands full.  Similar to the first qualifying session both drivers were consistently setting lap times quick enough to lead the field for race 2, only being edged out at the end by a few tenths.  Santiago Urrutia finished the session 3rd while Aaron Telitz was 5th.

In almost identical fashion to race 1, Aaron was able to get around the 4th place car this time of Colton Herta, while teammate Santiago made a pass on Victor Franzoni to take 2nd place away.

The ensuing turns saw Aaron doing all he could to maintain his 4th place position, but unfortunately gave way to Herta. Santiago began driving as hard as he could to make sure that 1st place O’Ward did not pull away, and slowly began gaining time on the 1st place car.

Around the half way mark of the race, Santiago made an attempt at a dive bomb on race leader O’Ward that left him with a damaged front wing and a broken wishbone on the right front. After pitting for repairs, Santiago headed back on track not able to do better than 7th place.

“It was a tough weekend for me and the No. 5 team, we had the speed all weekend but just weren’t able to show it in the races.  You can’t look to the past, you can only look forward and that is what I’m going to do; focus ahead to Iowa.”

After his teammate’s misfortune, Aaron Telitz found himself running in the 4th position with the 3rd place car of O’Ward backing up towards him.  Making a daring pass going into turn No. 5, Telitz successfully took over the 3rd position.  Telitz was able to hold that position for the remainder of the laps to come home on the final step of the podium at his home track.

“This means a lot; this is the biggest race of the year for me.  I like to say I’m the Wisconsin car with pretty much every sponsor on the car is from Wisconsin, Brian is from Wisconsin, my biggest supporter Rice Lake Weighing Systems is from Wisconsin, too.  To get on the podium here is awesome, obviously we would like to be a couple steps higher, but we just didn’t have our car working just how we’d like it to.  The Belardi Auto Racing guys never gave up this weekend.  We were down in qualifying, starting 5th both races, so to move up and get on the podium was really awesome today.”

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