Israeli driver to compete in Firestone Indy Lights

Auto Racing created motor racing history by signing Alon Day, the first Israeli driver to compete in the United States, to its Firestone Indy Lights roster for the 2012 season.

"I am very excited to welcome Alon to the Belardi Auto Racing family for the 2012 Indy Lights season," team owner Brian Belardi said. "Alon really blew us away when he came down to test with us at Palm Beach in December. His very first time in an Indy Lights car could not have gone better, and we are very lucky to have him join our program. I think with Alon's natural talent and determination, he will have a really great season as a rookie in the Firestone Indy Lights series."

Day started his driving career, like many others, by karting. After earning more than 60 titles and trophies, he moved up to the 2-liter cars in Formula Renault in Asia and Hungary. In 2009, the 17-year-old clinched the Asia Formula Renault Championship with 13 podiums, eight poles and six wins.

In March of the following year, however, Day's racing career was halted when he was asked to join the Israeli Army for three years. After being pardoned because of his unique career and accomplishments, he competed in the German Formula Three Championship in 2010. It was that year, following a promising season, that Day was selected by ex-Formula 1 driver Alexander Wurz to be one of 12 FIA Ambassadors as part of the FIA Institute Academy Initiative.

Signing with Belardi Auto Racing will mark Day's first race season in North America, where the 20-year-old will compete in 12 events across the U.S. and Canada.

"I am so delighted to announce that I will be competing with Belardi Auto Racing for the 2012 Indy Lights Championship," he said. "I had a great test with Belardi in December, and I got to have a real think about things over Christmas, and I decided to make a commitment with Belardi in the Lights Championship. Brian (Belardi) and John (Brunner) have been great; they have accommodated for us on every level.

"I'm really excited with the package that we've got to enter the season. We certainly feel that we're going to be in a great position to fight for the championship, which is why we're all here. I'm absolutely delighted and very much looking forward to working with everyone at Belardi and look to try and bring them the championship."

Day and the team will test at MSR Houston on Jan. 23-24.

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