Belardi Auto Racing announced on Tuesday that they have signed Santiago Urrutia for the 2018 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship. A veteran Mazda Road to Indy driver and six-time Indy Lights race winner, Urrutia will be back behind the wheel this coming season, joining last year’s teammate Aaron Telitz.
Urrutia has spent two years in the top level of the MRTI ladder system, earning runner-up two years in a row. He is looking to capitalize on the momentum from last year and the early test results already from this season. Coming off of the 2017 season, where Urrutia scored a pair of wins at Mid-Ohio and Gateway Motorsports Park, he will be looking to grow those numbers in a push for the championship trophy.
“We’re really happy to have Santi signed with us for the 2018 season,” offered Brian Belardi, Team Principal for the 2014 Indy Lights champions and the 2018 team champions. “He’s a supreme talent in the car and is focused on one thing and that is winning the championship. Santi just finished at the top of the test day at Homestead yesterday. I know that we’ll challenge for race wins and the championship this year.”
Urrutia tested with the team at Sebring International Raceway in January. After getting back in the car from an extended blackout period, Urrutia was right back where he left off at the end of the season. Belardi Auto Racing is looking to capitalize on the momentum of last season and the early test sessions of this year.
“I am very happy to be back with Belardi, I believe in Brian and in all of the team,” offered Urrutia. “It is going to be my third year with Tim Neff as my engineer, so I know him very well. I know it is going to be a fun year, but also a tough year because it is going to be super competitive. I have to be 100% focused every weekend. I am going to have to be very smart and finish all of the races in at least the top 5. I am looking forward to starting the season strong in St. Pete and then fight for the championship. I have only one goal and that is to win the championship.”
Urrutia will pilot the #5 car again this year at the season-opening race at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida on the March 9-11 weekend. Rounds 1 and 2 of the championship will be contested on the street course in Florida and Belardi Auto Racing will be focused on getting out of the gate strongly to begin their attack on the series championship.