Teams Jump in to Help Belardi Auto Racing Get Back on Track
St. Petersburg, Fla. – During Saturday’s Race 2 qualifying for the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship, Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz was battling for pole position when all of a sudden the back of the car got free on him and he found himself hard into the wall.
Once the team got the car back into the transporter area and began to assess the damage, they realized just how big the impact was. The entire left side of the car was ripped off, and the tub that keeps the driver safe was cracked. Team owner Brian Belardi and team manager John Brunner immediately got on the phone and began to call around looking for another car.
After hundreds of phone calls asking anyone and everyone if they had a car, they got a yes. That yes came in the form of Trevor Carlin, Colin Hale, and Carlin Racing. They had a car that was last used at Watkins Glen in 2017, and were willing to make it available to the Belardi Auto Racing team. Not only were they going to let Belardi use the car, but they also had a crew member at their shop move the car, help load it into the trailer and make sure the team had everything it needed.
They also got help from a fellow Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires competitor. Gregg and Brent Borland at Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda team ArmsUp Motorsports lent the team a truck and trailer to make the 8 hour in total drive to the Carlin shop to pick up the new machine. That is a 432-mile trek that they let Belardi make on their vehicle.
Once you get the car however, it does not just end there. There is a huge difference between a race ready car and one that has been sitting in the shop for six months. The guys on the team had to completely strip down the crashed car and see if there was anything they could salvage from the wreck. Once that was complete they took delivery of the new Mazda MZR-R power plant and began to attach that to the gear box.
With the new engine, and gearbox ready to go the final step was to get their hands on the car and get it race ready. The amount of items on the checklist to make a car race ready is staggering. When the crew members finally got to the car around mid-night, they began thrashing to get it ready for the install lap in the early morning hours. The team members took shifts sleeping, so the car was constantly getting worked on and ready for the second race on Sunday.
To make a team successful in racing you need a lot of different things. The one that stands out above all of the others is the commitment and desire to win. The Belardi Auto Racing team has both of these things. Everyone from the owners, engineers, mechanics, and drivers all want to win badly. They, along with the help from great friends in the Mazda Road to Indy, Carlin Racing and ArmsUp Motorsports, are the reason Aaron Telitz will be racing a car today on the Streets of St. Petersburg.