Zachary Claman de Melo to stand in for Pietro Fittipaldi at Indy 500 – IndyCar


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Zachary Claman de Melo will replace the injured Pietro Fittipaldi for the 2018 Indianapolis 500 in the #19 Dale Coyne Racing-run IndyCar entry.

Fittipaldi was ruled out of the Indy 500 as a consequence of his World Endurance Championship crash at Spa earlier this month and is not expected to return to IndyCar competition until July’s Mid-Ohio race.

With Fittipaldi having been slated to ride-share the #19 car with Indy Lights graduate de Melo, team boss Dale Coyne had been reluctant to allow the inexperienced de Melo to drive at Indy or the Texas oval.

Coyne spoke to drivers with backing over standing in for Fittipaldi, but no deal materialised other than de Melo – whose sponsors pushed for him to get the seat.

De Melo will now undertake his rookie orientation programme at Indianapolis later today.

“I’m very much looking forward to turning my first laps aboard the #19 Paysafe Indycar on the oval at Indianapolis,” said Claman De Melo.

“It’s an iconic venue and I’m extremely fortunate to be able to have the opportunity to drive here.

“Again, it’s unfortunate that it’s under these circumstances with Pietro’s injuries so I realise how lucky I am to have this chance.

“I want to thank Dale [Coyne] and [sponsor] Paysafe for giving me this opportunity. I can’t wait to get on track to complete my rookie orientation program.”

Drivers including Katherine Legge and Sebastien Saavedra had previously been linked to the drive.

2018 Indy 500 entry list

1 Josef Newgarden Penske Dallara-Chevrolet
3 Helio Castroneves Penske Dallara-Chevrolet
4 Matheus Leist AJ Foyt Racing Dallara-Chevrolet
5 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara-Honda
6 Robert Wickens Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara-Honda
7 Jay Howard Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara-Honda
9 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara-Honda
10 Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara-Honda
12 Will Power Penske Dallara-Chevrolet
13 Danica Patrick Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara-Chevrolet
14 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Racing Dallara-Chevrolet
15 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara-Honda
17 Conor Daly Dale Coyne Racing Dallara-Honda
18 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing Dallara-Honda
19 Zachary Claman de Melo Dale Coyne Racing Dallara-Honda
20 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara-Chevrolet
21 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara-Chevrolet
22 Simon Pagenaud Penske Dallara-Chevrolet
23 Charlie Kimball Carlin Dallara-Chevrolet
24 Sage Karam Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara-Chevrolet
25 Stefan Wilson Andretti Autosport Dallara-Honda
26 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Dallara-Honda
27 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara-Honda
28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara-Honda
29 Carlos Munoz Andretti Autosport Dallara-Honda
30 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara-Honda
32 Kyle Kaiser Juncos Racing Dallara-Chevrolet
33 James Davison AJ Foyt Racing Dallara-Chevrolet
59 Max Chilton Carlin Dallara-Chevrolet
60 Jack Harvey Schmidt/Michael Shank Racing Dallara-Honda
63 Pippa Mann Dale Coyne Racing Dallara-Honda
64 Oriol Servia Rahal/Scuderia Corsa Dallara-Honda
66 JR Hildebrand Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara-Chevrolet
88 Gabby Chaves Harding Racing Dallara-Chevrolet
98 Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Dallara-Honda


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