INDIANAPOLIS – Belardi Auto Racing has announce their first driver signing for the upcoming 2013 Firestone Indy Lights season.
Peter Dempsey, a 26-year-old from Ashbourne, Ireland, returns team for a full-season ride in 2013. The winningest driver in the Star Mazda Championship Series, as well as a three-time winner of the coveted Walter Hayes Trophy, Dempsey longed to find a permanent seat in the third step of the Mazda Road to Indy for three seasons and has now found one in Belardi Auto Racing.
“First off I want to thank Brian [Belardi], team manager John Brunner and everyone at Belardi Auto Racing who has made this possible,” said Dempsey. “They gave me a great opportunity to drive for the team at the end of the 2012 season, and that was a very enjoyable end to my year.
When I came to the team, I really felt at home and wanted; that is a great feeling for me. After our last race at Fontana, Belardi was the team I wanted to remain with and grow with, and I am very excited that we are in the position to announce this signing so early. This really gives us the chance to properly prepare for the first race next season. For me, this is the first time in my American motorsport career where I have had a secure ride, and I could not be happier to have that with Belardi Auto Racing.”
Making his debut with Belardi in Toronto earlier this year, Dempsey made five starts with team and finished in the top-five three times; Dempsey was forced to retire the other two events. The Irishman also gave the young team its highest finish of 2012 in his debut race on the streets of downtown Toronto when he finished fourth.
“I cannot express how happy I am to have Peter back with our team in 2013,” team owner Brian Belardi said. “He is one of the most talented drivers in the Firestone Indy Lights series, and we will give him all the tools necessary to help him be successful. The entire team is looking forward to working with Peter again.”