Toronto, ON (July 15, 2018) – It wasn’t an easy race by any means with a difficult track and hot temperatures, but Dale Coyne Racing’s Zachary Claman De Melo moved up nine positions in the Honda Indy Toronto on Sunday to take the checkered flag in 14th place aboard his #19 Paysafe car in his home…
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Toronto, ON (July 14, 2018) – Mother Nature decided to play a part in qualifying for the Honda Indy Toronto on Saturday with rain mixing things up for the drivers who had practiced in dry conditions all weekend. Dale Coyne Racing’s Zachary Claman De Melo took a gamble in the changing weather conditions but unfortunately it…
A Learning Experience for Claman De Melo in Iowa
Newton, IA (July 8, 2018) – Dale Coyne Racing’s Zachary Claman De Melo, summed up his Iowa Corn 300 as a learning experience on Sunday following the race at Iowa Speedway in which the rookie driver brought his car home in 18th place.
Starting 20th, Claman De Melo had a very strong first stint, climbing all the way up to sixth while turning laps near the leader’s pace. However, following his first pit stop on Lap 80, things started to go downhill for the young Canadian.
As the track gained more and more rubber, Claman De Melo struggled with the handling of his car and fell back to 19th in the field and found himself three laps down by the halfway mark of the race. While he managed to continue fighting with others on track, his chances of moving up the field were slim due to being so many laps down and having done two extra pit stops due to tire issues.
The #19 Paysafe driver continued to push and register good lap times all while taking in important on track experience up until he took the checkered flag in 18th position.
“The first stint was really strong,” shared Claman De Melo. “I thought we were going to stay that way and have a similar run to Texas but as the track gripped up and the rubber got down it didn’t agree with our #19 Paysafe car. I also struggled a bit to follow traffic, where to place my car, so it wasn’t the greatest day, but I learned a lot from it.”
Claman De Melo and the Dale Coyne Racing team will be back in action next weekend in the rookie’s home country of Canada for the Honda Indy Toronto July 13 -15, 2018.
Claman De Melo Hoping for Better Oval Luck in Iowa
Newton, IA (July 6, 2018) – Zachary Claman De Melo will once again be taking on an oval at which he has no prior Indy car experience at this weekend when he and his Dale Coyne Racing team head to Iowa Speedway for the Iowa Corn 300. However, that lack of experience hasn’t stopped him from putting in some strong performances aboard his #19 Paysafe car in his first two IndyCar oval events. The rookie looks to do the same in Iowa but with a better outcome.
Claman De Melo made his IndyCar oval debut at Indianapolis earlier this year and was on his way to a possible top-10 when a fuel strategy gamble didn’t pay off, then in Texas he was taken out of the race through no fault of his own when making a pass for sixth place after a strong run to the front of the field.
With a 19th place finish at Indy and a 17th at Texas, the driver of the #19 Paysafe car is hoping that the third time’s a charm and that the bad luck he’s been facing is now behind him as he enters what is his last scheduled oval race this season.
While Claman De Melo’s IndyCar oval starts were both on superspeedways, this will be his first race on a short oval with the Iowa Speedway track measuring in at 7/8-mile (0.875). The Canadian driver has prior experience at Iowa Speedway in Indy Lights, with his best result coming last season when he finished sixth after starting second.
“I raced at Iowa in the Indy Lights Series the last couple of years so I’m familiar with the track,” said Claman De Melo. “It’s certainly an interesting oval with it being so short. I’m not sure what to expect as I have not driven an Indy car there yet but I’m confident my #19 Paysafe Dale Coyne Racing team will once again give me a good car this weekend and we can bounce back from our difficult weekend at Road America two weeks ago.”
Claman De Melo will get a one-hour practice session on Saturday, July 7 at 10:15am local time (11:15am ET) before heading into qualifying later that day at 2:30pm local time. He’ll then get a final one-hour practice at 5:45pm local time. Both practice sessions will be streamed live on racecontrol.indycar.com with qualifying being broadcast live on NBCSN.
The Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway will go green on Sunday, July 8 at 1:40pm local time and will be broadcast live on NBCSN from 1:00pm local time (2:00pm ET) on Sunday, July 8. The race can also be followed live on the Advance Auto Parts IndyCar Radio Network, including SIRIUS/XM 209/214.
Dale Coyne Racing’s Zachary Claman De Melo was having a good race at the Kohler Grand Prix on Sunday when an unfortunate electrical issue with the engine caused him to lose positions and cross the finish line in 21st.
After starting 17th, the #19 Paysafe driver fell to 21st in the opening laps after losing a few positions following a mistake at the end of his first lap. While he remained near the rear of the field during his first stint, moving up during pit stops, he would then climb as high as 13th during his second stint.
However, after a promising stint, bad luck hit with about 10 laps remaining when he encountered his issue during his final stint while running 14th. The problem cost him precious lap time and he would fall through the field before taking the checkered.
“I had a decent start, but I made a mistake at the end of the first lap and that put us back,” said Claman De Melo. “We just kind of stayed where we were for the first stint. Our pace was much better in the middle of the race and things were looking good as we were heading into the final stint, but then unfortunately we had an electrical issue with the engine and that cost us at the end.”
Next up for the Dale Coyne Racing team and driver Zachary Claman De Melo will be the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway on July 8.
Dale Coyne Racing’s Zachary Claman De Melo was hoping for a better outcome aboard his #19 Paysafe machine during qualifying for the Kohler Grand Prix on Saturday, as the rookie had to settle for a 17th place on the grid of a very competitive Verizon IndyCar Series field.
Taking to the track in Group 1, Claman De Melo started the 12-minute qualifying session on Firestone Red tires. Things looked good early on as he immediately jumped to second on his first lap and then went to third on his second lap, before heading to pit lane for a fresh set of Firestone Reds.
The Canadian registered his fastest time of 1:44.0189 on his fifth lap around the 4-mile, 14-turn track completing his lap just as the checkered flag waved. While his time initially placed him seventh in his group, he would end up ninth when all the cars had taken the checkered, only three tenths of a second from moving on to the second round of qualifying.
“It’s so competitive out there,” expressed Claman De Melo. “I thought we had a really good chance at doing better in qualifying, but we ended up on the wrong end of the timing sheet. We just missed making it to the second round by a few tenths so that’s a bit disappointing. That said, tomorrow is a long race and a lot can happen. I’m confident we can move up the field and get that good result we’ve been chasing the last few races.”
The Kohler Grand Prix at Road America, the tenth round of the season, will be broadcast live on NBCSN from 12:30pm ET on Sunday, June 24 with the race also being broadcast live on the Advance Auto Parts IndyCar Radio Network, including SIRIUS/XM 209/214.
Dale Coyne Racing’s Zachary Claman De Melo is hoping to reproduce his Indy Lights Road America successes this weekend aboard his #19 Paysafe Indy car when the Verizon IndyCar Series heads to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for Round 10 of the 2018 season June 22 to 24.
Claman De Melo picked up his maiden Indy Lights victory in Race 2 of the Road America weekend last season after starting fourth and holds the Indy Lights race track record at the popular venue. In his three other starts at the 4.048-mile, 14-turn circuit, he has a fourth, a fifth and a tenth-place finish.
“Road America is one of my favorite tracks on the schedule. I have great memories racing there as it’s where I won my first Indy Lights race last season and it’s a circuit I’ve always done well at,” said Claman De Melo. “We’ve made some great progress so far this year but have not yet had the chance to show it with a good result aboard our #19 Paysafe car. Hopefully we can change that this weekend and give the #19 Dale Coyne Racing crew the top result that they deserve.”
Despite a strong performance at the previous round at Texas Motor Speedway, the rookie was taken out of contention when fighting for sixth place on his way to a possible top five finish.
Claman De Melo will be able to turn his first laps aboard his Paysafe machine at Road America on Friday, June 22 when he takes to the track at Noon ET for the first of three practice sessions that weekend. Qualifying will take place on Saturday, June 23 at 4:00pm ET.
All practice sessions and qualifying will be streamed live on racecontrol.indycar.com with qualifying also being broadcast on tape delay on NBCSN on Saturday June 24 at 6:30pm ET.
The Kohler Grand Prix at Road America will be broadcast live on NBCSN from 12:30pm ETon Sunday, June 24. The race will also be broadcast live on the Advance Auto Parts IndyCar Radio Network, including SIRIUS/XM 209/214.
Heartbreak for Claman De Melo in Texas After Strong Run
Fort Worth, TX (June 9, 2018) – Dale Coyne Racing’s Zachary Claman De Melo was on his way to a possible Top 5 finish aboard his #19 Paysafe machine on Saturday night at the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway when his race came to an end after contact with the sixth placed car pushed him into the wall and out of the race on Lap 205.
After starting 21st, the rookie impressed as he quietly made his way to the front, moving up through on track passes and pit strategy. Despite coming out of the pits in 16th place after his second pit stop on Lap 122, he would then make his way forward gaining a position nearly every few laps.
By Lap 160, he had made his way into the top ten, and was running eighth when a full course caution came out on Lap 173. The young Canadian driver took advantage of the caution period to make his third pit stop and returned to the track in eighth.
While working Lap 205, Claman De Melo made a pass for seventh on the outside and was on his way to passing Will Power for sixth when Power drove up into him, taking both drivers out of contention and ending a great run by the rookie.
“I got a great run on the outside in clean air, I probably would have passed Power as well. I don’t know if his spotter didn’t tell him I was there. Watching the replay, I was clearly there. It’s just one of those moments. I’m sure he didn’t do it on purpose,” expressed Claman De Melo who ended up 17th on the final results sheet.
“I feel bad for him and I feel bad for me and the team. It’s a bad day but I think I showed my potential. It was a great run up until that point. To do what I did today, from second to last to get up to where we were, it was looking like a possible top-5 finish, top 3 even, I can’t thank the whole team enough, Paysafe and everyone. The car the Dale Coyne Racing team gave me was amazing. After a disappointing weekend like this, I can’t wait to get back into the car again.”
Claman De Melo will be back in action aboard the #19 Paysafe car in two weeks, when the Verizon IndyCar Series moves to Road America for the tenth round of the 2018 season.