By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
Belardi Auto Racing announced on Friday that is has signed Santiago Urrutia for the 2017 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires campaign.
A rookie in 2016, Urrutia finished runner-up in the championship with four wins and seven podiums in 18 starts. The 20-year-old Uruguayan expressed his belief in his new team and the motivation for next year.
“We have a really strong crew and I believe that we are going to have one of the greatest teams in the paddock,” said Urrutia, winner of the 2015 Pro Mazda Championship. “I am very happy to sign with Belardi, as I was fighting with the team’s drivers [Felix Rosenqvist and Zach Veach] all year in 2016.
“I have only one goal and that is to win the championship, and I am going to try to win every race for the team. If I can’t win, I’ll be aiming for seconds and thirds, whatever I need to win the title. What happened at Laguna Seca in the finale is now in the past and I am looking at the future. I have to thank all of my fans, my engineer, my sponsors in Uruguay and I want to thank (team owner) Brian Belardi for believing in me.”
Belardi added his excitement of his new driver, as he joins fellow newcomer Shelby Blackstock to the fold.
“We’re extremely excited to being adding Santi to our stable of drivers for the 2016 season,” said Belardi.
“We’re coming off a really strong season and our staff is highly motivated to make 2017 even better. Signing a driver of Santi’s caliber will once again put us into the fight for a championship. The entire team is fired up with the announcements of Santiago and Shelby and we’re hoping to confirm a third driver early in the new year.”