INDIANAPOLIS – Zachary Claman De Melo will replace the injured Pietro Fittipaldi in the No. 19 Paysafe Honda during this weekend’s IndyCar Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
Fittipaldi was originally scheduled to take part in his second Verizon IndyCar Series race on Sunday during the Grand Prix. However, the Brazilian driver has been sidelined due to a broken left leg and broken right ankle suffered in a qualifying crash at Spa-Francorchamps during the World Endurance Championship opener on May 4.
Claman De Melo has competed in three races this season with Dale Coyne Racing. He was next scheduled to race with the team at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix in June, but will now make his fifth IndyCar start filling in for Fittipaldi.
Fittipaldi will be out of a race car for roughly eight weeks. His replacement(s) for the Indy 500 and Texas Motor Speedway event will be announced at a later time.
“I’m extremely excited to get to race at the INDYCAR Grand Prix this weekend aboard the No. 19 Paysafe car, but I’m sad that it’s under these circumstances,” said Claman De Melo. “My thoughts are first and foremost with Pietro; you never want to see that happen to a competitor, much less a teammate.”
“Getting to race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is always special. I enjoyed racing there in Indy Lights and I can’t wait to now get a chance to drive there aboard an Indy car. It’s a fun track with some good passing opportunities which means it should be a good show for the fans. Hopefully we can turn our luck around and come out of the weekend with a good result.”
Claman De Melo has competed on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course four times in Indy Lights. His best finish there was a runner-up last season.