Indianapolis, IN (May 11, 2018) – After getting the call up yesterday to fill in this weekend for his injured teammate Pietro Fittipaldi, Zach Claman De Melo made as much as he could with his limited seat time on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and qualified 19th aboard the #19 Paysafe machine for Saturday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix in a very competitive field that was covered by only 0.9 seconds.
While most of the field was able to test at the Speedway in March, Claman De Melo wasn’t amongst the attendees and was turning his first laps aboard an Indy Car at the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course on Friday.
Claman De Melo was looking good early on in the qualifying session placing fifth on his first timed lap. The rookie then continued to improve, placing second after registering his fastest lap of 1:10.5064 on his fifth qualifying lap. However, when all cars had taken the checkered flag at the end of the 10-minute session, the driver of the #19 Paysafe car found himself 10th in his group, and 19th on the starting grid.
“The pace isn’t really where we want it to be right now,” said Claman De Melo. “We rolled out of the box pretty good with the Paysafe car and we had a decent first practice session this morning, but then we ended up struggling in Practice 2 and despite making changes we didn’t quite have the pace we’d like in qualifying. We’ll look over everything tonight and get ready for tomorrow. I’m confident my Dale Coyne Racing crew will give me a good car for the race.”
The Dale Coyne Racing rookie will be back on track at 11:15am Saturday morning for the warm up session ahead of that afternoon’s race.
The INDYCAR Grand Prix will be broadcast live on ABC from 3:30pm ET with the green flag scheduled for 3:50pm ET. The race will also be broadcast live on the Advance Auto Parts IndyCar Radio Network, including SIRIUS/XM 209/214.
All practice sessions and qualifying will be streamed live on racecontrol.indycar.com.