By Christopher DeHarde, IndyCar & Road to Indy Writer
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing today announced that Indy Lights driver Zachary Claman DeMelo will make his Verizon IndyCar Series debut at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on September 17th.
In anticipation of a multi-car effort for next season, RLLR will have Claman De Melo pilot the No. 16 Honda sponsored by Paysafe as a teammate to the team’s full time driver Graham Rahal.
“I’m thrilled to be driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for my (Verizon) IndyCar Series debut at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma,” said Claman DeMelo.“This opportunity marks an incredible moment for my career and for Canadian motorsport fans, as I’m getting that much closer to securing a fulltime position with RLLR for next season.
I want to extend a big thank you to my primary partner, Paysafe, for making a dream come true today and to Bobby Rahal for the incredible level of support he has provided towards getting me in the No. 16 Honda this season. It is an honor to drive for RLLR and I look forward to big things ahead.”
In 2016, Claman DeMelo joined Indy Lights with Juncos Racing and showed some promise with three top five finishes but a inconsistency cost him a shot at a higher spot in the championship and he finished ninth in the standings.
In 2017, a move to Carlin provided a fresh start as he won the second race at Road America, set three fastest laps and finished sixth or above in nine of the final 10 races of the season, the lone exception being a 10th at the first race at Road America.