Belardi team expands to Firestone Indy Lights
Belardi Auto Racing will expand its efforts to two Road to Indy series in 2011 with plans to field a two-car effort in Firestone Indy Lights in addition to its entry in the Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda.
The team, which previously competed as Liberty Motorsports, will be led by IndyCar veteran Larry Nash of the Nash Performance Group, Inc., and will relocate from Rockford, Ill., to Indianapolis.
"This has been a long-time dream of mine," said team owner Brian Belardi. "I have a true passion for open-wheel racing and am completely supportive of the Road to Indy and what it can mean for today's young drivers. To be a part of that process is very exciting."
With four seats available for the 2011 season, the team is already busy preparing equipment to the standard that is expected from Nash.
Nash has a long history of excellence in open-wheel racing that started with the likes of Gary Bettenhausen and Emerson Fittipaldi. As one of the original IZOD IndyCar Series entrants, Nash helped field cars for Sam Schmidt, Eliseo Salazar, Jaques Lazier, Scott Harrington and Davey Hamilton.
"The opportunity to work with Larry was one of the key factors that made the decision to add the Indy Lights effort an easy one," Belardi said. "His reputation, his integrity and his talent in making cars fast, in my opinion, is second to none."
Belardi Auto Racing also expanded its marketing operations with the addition of LeeAnne Nash, who will serve as director of marketing and administration.
"With the experience that Larry and LeeAnne bring to the team, having run the big cars, we believe we can do an outstanding job helping to train the next generation of IndyCar drivers, providing them with a level of preparation and service that they and their sponsors can be proud of," Belardi said.