Long Beach, CA (April 14, 2018) – Dale Coyne Racing’s Rookie Zachary Claman De Melo qualified 21st on Saturday for his first Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
The young Canadian, who is making his first appearance on the streets of Long Beach this weekend, has been using the practice sessions to come to grips with the challenging 11-turn, 1.968-mile street course, trying to learn as much as possible in a short amount of time.
Unfortunately for the driver of the #19 Paysafe car, a battery issue in the Saturday morning practice session cost him some precious track and learning time ahead of the afternoon’s qualifying session.
“It was a tough qualifying session today aboard the #19 Paysafe Car in Long Beach,” said Claman De Melo. “We had an issue this morning that took away some valuable practice time and I think that hurt us heading into qualifying. It’s not an easy track but I did the best I could under the circumstances. We’ll get better for the race tomorrow and hope for the best.”
Claman De Melo’s fastest lap of 1:09.1429 initially placed him seventh in his group, but once all cars had taken the checkered flag, he would end up 11th in Group 1 and 21st on the starting grid.
The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach takes place, tomorrow, Sunday, April 15 with the green flag scheduled for 1:42pm local time.
The race will be broadcast live on NBCSN from 4pm ET. The race will also be live on the Advance Auto Parts IndyCar Radio Network, including SIRIUS/XM 209/214.