Santiago Urrutia will continue chase his dream of representing his country in Indy car racing by returning to the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires in 2017.
The Uruguayan driver, who won the Pro Mazda title in 2015 and finished second to Ed Jones for the 2016 Indy Lights title, will race for Belardi Auto Racing as driver of the No. 5 Mazda powered Dallara IL-15. He joins Shelby Blackstock in the team’s driver lineup.
“We’re extremely excited to being adding Santi to our stable of drivers for the 2016 season,” said team owner Brian Belardi, whose team captured six wins in 2016 with drivers Felix Rosenqvist and Zach Veach. “We’re coming off a really strong season and our staff is highly motivated to make 2017 even better. Signing a driver of Santi’s caliber will once again put us into the fight for a championship. The entire team is fired up with the announcements of Santiago and Shelby and we’re hoping to confirm a third driver early in the new year.”
Urrutia came within a single on-track position of scoring the Indy Lights crown as a series rookie, The 20-year-old from Uruguay won four races, scoring at Barber Motorsports Park, Road America and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
“We have a really strong crew and I believe that we are going to have one of the greatest teams in the paddock,” Urrutia commented, who is looking forward to getting back behind the wheel when the team returns to testing in early January.
“I am very happy to sign with Belardi, as I was fighting with the team’s drivers all year in 2016. I have only one goal, and that is to win the championship, and I am going to try to win every race for the team. If I can’t win, I’ll be aiming for seconds and thirds, whatever I need to win the title. What happened at Laguna Seca in the finale is now in the past, and I am looking at the future. I have to thank all of my fans, my engineer, my sponsors in Uruguay and I want to thank Brian Belardi for believing in me.”