By Christopher DeHarde, IndyCar & Road to Indy Writer
The worst kept secret in the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires has finally been made official as Mazda announced that Aaron Telitz will pilot their Soul Red Mazda paint scheme for Belardi Auto Racing in the 2017 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires.
The 2016 Pro Mazda champion earned the right to race the Soul Red scheme after winning the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires in dramatic fashion and with it, the MAZDASPEED scholarship that funded the majority of his 2017 Indy Lights campaign.
The Wisconsinite will race alongside Indy Lights veterans Santiago Urrutia and Shelby Blackstock, and having a veteran lineup will help the 25-year-old Wisconsin native out immensely.
“It’s a huge advantage to have veteran drivers on your team in your first year,” said Telitz.
“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.”
Telitz had been a front runner for a seat at Belardi, considering that they were one of two teams he tested with in Indy Lights and the other team has since shut down their doors.