Zachary Claman De Melo claims best IndyCar finish
Montréal’s Zachary Claman De Melo scored his best finish in the IndyCar series at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
Claman De Melo was not scheduled to drive this past weekend but got a phone call from Dale Coyne to replace Pietro Fittipaldi who broke both of his legs in a crash during the World Endurance Championship race at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.
Driving the Dale Coyne Racing No. 19 Paysafe Honda-powered machine, Claman De Melo moved up from his 19th-place position on the grid to 11th on the first lap.
He ran in the top 10 but when he got called for his pit stop, a momentary electrical glitch slowed the car and cost him time on his in-lap and he would find himself in 19th following his pit stop. The young Canadian remained focussed and charged hard. He ended up crossing the finish line in 12th.
“It was a really fun start. A few people had incidents, so I saw a few open holes and I just took them,” said the rookie driver.
“It’s just unfortunate about the small issue we had before our first pit stop that cost us some time. Without that issue on our in lap, we probably could have been in the top 10 easily at the end. We’re not quite sure what the issue was so we’re looking into it. We’re really happy with how the race went, our pace was strong aboard the Paysafe car and it was great to be out there. Overall, I’m happy with the result, it’s good for me, I learned a lot and I’m happy for the team.”
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