INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Feb. 27, 2013 - Belardi Auto Racing is pleased to welcome back 2012 Rolex 24 podium finisher Jorge Goncalvez to its Firestone Indy Lights program for the 2013 season.
Since he last saw the team at Belardi Auto Racing, the 21-year-old has been keeping busy with his preparation and participation of the 2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway where he once again competed with Michael Shank Racing-Ford Riley in January. Goncalvez, along with fellow Firestone Indy Lights veteran Gustavo Yacaman, American Le Mans' Chris Cumming and Grand-Am's Michael Valiante, had a solid drive until making contact with a GT car and the teammates were forced to retire early.
Goncalvez prior to the Toyota Grand Prix
of Long Beach in 2012.
A part of the Firestone Indy Lights squad with the Brownsburg, IN-based team since 2011, Goncalvez has acquired three podiums, four top five finishes and 16 top 10 finishes in two seasons. The Los Teques, Venezuela native's return to the team marks his third season in Firestone Indy Lights.
"I am really happy to be able to come back to Belardi Auto Racing," Goncalvez said. "I've been with this team for two years now, and I know how hard they work and how much they strive to be better and better.
"I'm looking forward to having Peter [Dempsey] as my teammate again because I know he's a hard worker and will push me and the team to be better. I feel I'm better prepared this year and will be fighting hard for the Championship."
Team owner Brian Belardi is looking forward to building his relationship with Goncalvez. "I am very happy to have Jorge back with our Firestone Indy Lights program this year. We have seen Jorge grow and learn over the years, and it is great to bring back someone we already have an established relationship with.
"He and Peter [Dempsey] worked really well last year, and can only hope that their partnership as teammates will progress and they will continue to push one another to be better. Having two veterans on the team can only benefit us, and we are all really excited to get the season started."
Goncalvez and teammate Peter Dempsey will reunite at the next Firestone Indy Lights open test set for March 7 and 8 at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, FL. From there the teammates will continue testing until the series' season opener alongside the IZOD IndyCar series on the streets of downtown St. Petersburg, FL on March 24.