By: Tanner Watkins
May 20, 2019 | 11:00 AM
After winning the season-opening race on the streets of St. Petersburg and holding steady in the Indy Lights points race, Zachary Claman DeMelo is out of a ride for the rest of the 2019 Road to Indy season.
Confirmed this morning by the Canadian’s Instagram account, it appears that the sponsorship well has run dry for Claman DeMelo. The 21-year-old was driving for Belardi Auto Racing in IndyCar’s triple-A division, and the exit from his Indy Lights ride comes just days before the biggest race of the season – the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“Racing is such a sport of highs and lows! So today I got official confirmation that I will not be competing in the Freedom 100 and my season is over due to sponsorship,” said Claman DeMelo.
“The year started off amazing for me winning St. Pete and getting the points lead early in the year, and then things all turned after (Circuit of the Americas) when we forgot to put fuel in the car for qualifying and had a engine failure in the second race due to mileaged out parts.
“Anyways I would like to thank the team at Belardi for all the hard work, and my engineer Tim Neff who has been absolutely amazing. I look forward to seeing what’s next in my career, and would like to think it’s far from over!”
In six Indy Lights starts this season, Claman DeMelo had the season-opening victory at St. Petersburg, three podium finishes, and an average finishing position of 4.5. ZCD had most recently finished 2nd in the last Indy Lights round, which was held on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
Claman DeMelo impressed last season as a 20-year-old driving in the NTT IndyCar Series for Dale Coyne Racing. Filling in for the injured Pietro Fittipaldi for the second half of 2019, DeMelo finished an impressive 19th (with 7 laps led) on short notice in the Indianapolis 500 and was in contention for a top-five finish at Texas before a late-race scuffle with Will Power.
After completing the full Indy Lights slate in 2017 and 2018 – plus this season’s efforts – Claman DeMelo had made 40 starts in the top Road to Indy ladder series with two career wins, seven podiums and one pole award.
Header image by Road to Indy.
Open-Wheels coverage of the 2019 month of May at Indianapolis is presented by Driven 2 Save Lives. Driven 2 Save Lives, an entity of the Indiana Donor Network, is a program that utilizes motorsports as a platform to encourage race fans to become organ donors. Currently, there are 114,000 individuals that are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Register as an organ, tissue, and eye donor at Driven2SaveLives.org/register and follow Driven2SaveLives on Facebook and Twitter.