Long Beach, CA (April 15, 2018) – Zachary Claman De Melo was on his way to his best Verizon IndyCar Series finish when his race came to an abrupt end on Lap 59 after hitting the Turn 9 wall. The Dale Coyne Racing Rookie was classified 23rd on the final results sheet.
Claman De Melo, who was starting from 21st, pitted early on in the race on Lap 15 after flat spotting his tires. Once back on track with a fresh set of Firestone Tires, the rookie turned very competitive race laps faster than the leader and made his way up to 11th before making his second trip down pit lane.
Following his pit stop, the young Canadian resumed the race in 15th place and was running strong, looking to make his way forward, when he braked a little too late heading into Turn 9.
“I was trying to fuel save, I braked a little bit too late and I overcooked the corner and hit the Turn 9 wall,” he explained. “It’s unfortunate because I think we had a good strategy and I think we would have moved up a bit at the end. The start of the race wasn’t too bad, it wasn’t great, but I just tried to stay out of trouble. I needed to stop a little early because I flat spotted my front tires on the first lap so the Paysafe Car was kind of difficult to drive until we had our first stop but after that it was going well, up until I hit the wall.”
Claman De Melo will be back behind the wheel next weekend at the Barber Motorsports Park for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama April 22, 2018.