Zachary Claman de Melo to stand in for Pietro Fittipaldi at Indy 500

Zachary Claman de Melo will replace the injured Pietro Fittipaldi for the 2018 Indianapolis 500 in the #19 Dale Coyne Racing-run IndyCar entry

Zachary Claman de Melo to stand in for Pietro Fittipaldi at Indy 500

Fittipaldi was ruled out of the Indy 500 as a consequence of his World Endurance Championship crash at Spa earlier this month and is not expected to return to IndyCar competition until July's Mid-Ohio race.

With Fittipaldi having been slated to ride-share the #19 car with Indy Lights graduate de Melo, team boss Dale Coyne had been reluctant to allow the inexperienced de Melo to drive at Indy or the Texas oval.

Coyne spoke to drivers with backing over standing in for Fittipaldi, but no deal materialised other than de Melo - whose sponsors pushed for him to get the seat.

De Melo will now undertake his rookie orientation programme at Indianapolis later today.

"I'm very much looking forward to turning my first laps aboard the #19 Paysafe Indycar on the oval at Indianapolis," said Claman De Melo.

"It's an iconic venue and I'm extremely fortunate to be able to have the opportunity to drive here.

"Again, it's unfortunate that it's under these circumstances with Pietro's injuries so I realise how lucky I am to have this chance.

"I want to thank Dale [Coyne] and [sponsor] Paysafe for giving me this opportunity. I can't wait to get on track to complete my rookie orientation program."

Drivers including Katherine Legge and Sebastien Saavedra had previously been linked to the drive.

2018 Indy 500 entry list

1 Josef Newgarden Penske Dallara-Chevrolet
3 Helio Castroneves Penske Dallara-Chevrolet
4 Matheus Leist AJ Foyt Racing Dallara-Chevrolet
5 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara-Honda
6 Robert Wickens Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara-Honda
7 Jay Howard Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara-Honda
9 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara-Honda
10 Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara-Honda
12 Will Power Penske Dallara-Chevrolet
13 Danica Patrick Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara-Chevrolet
14 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Racing Dallara-Chevrolet
15 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara-Honda
17 Conor Daly Dale Coyne Racing Dallara-Honda
18 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing Dallara-Honda
19 Zachary Claman de Melo Dale Coyne Racing Dallara-Honda
20 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara-Chevrolet
21 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara-Chevrolet
22 Simon Pagenaud Penske Dallara-Chevrolet
23 Charlie Kimball Carlin Dallara-Chevrolet
24 Sage Karam Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara-Chevrolet
25 Stefan Wilson Andretti Autosport Dallara-Honda
26 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Dallara-Honda
27 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara-Honda
28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara-Honda
29 Carlos Munoz Andretti Autosport Dallara-Honda
30 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara-Honda
32 Kyle Kaiser Juncos Racing Dallara-Chevrolet
33 James Davison AJ Foyt Racing Dallara-Chevrolet
59 Max Chilton Carlin Dallara-Chevrolet
60 Jack Harvey Schmidt/Michael Shank Racing Dallara-Honda
63 Pippa Mann Dale Coyne Racing Dallara-Honda
64 Oriol Servia Rahal/Scuderia Corsa Dallara-Honda
66 JR Hildebrand Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara-Chevrolet
88 Gabby Chaves Harding Racing Dallara-Chevrolet
98 Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Dallara-Honda


shares
comments
Scott Dixon explains Ganassi's struggles in 2018 IndyCar season

Previous article

Scott Dixon explains Ganassi's struggles in 2018 IndyCar season

Next article

McLaren refuses to 'confirm or deny' 2019 IndyCar plans

McLaren refuses to 'confirm or deny' 2019 IndyCar plans
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Drivers Pietro Fittipaldi , Zachary Claman De Melo
Author Tom Errington
Can Penske redress the balance in IndyCar's battle of the titans? Plus

Can Penske redress the balance in IndyCar's battle of the titans?

IndyCar's gold standard teams Ganassi and Penske are set for another slugfest beginning this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. A poor start to the first season with the new aeroscreen left Josef Newgarden with too much ground to make up on Scott Dixon in the title chase, but his strong end to 2020 suggests a battle royale lies ahead...

IndyCar
Apr 16, 2021
The six major IndyCar subplots to follow in 2021 Plus

The six major IndyCar subplots to follow in 2021

From rookies arriving with big reputations to veterans who still have the fire and an F1-linked squad pushing to join the big leagues, IndyCar has it all this year. Here are six of the key storylines to keep track of

IndyCar
Apr 15, 2021
The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed Plus

The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed

Often unfairly characterised as a car-breaker, judged for his lack of an Indianapolis 500 win and a disappointing part-season of Formula 1 in 1993, Michael Andretti was highly respected by his rivals and only thwarted greater success by ill-fortune. When it all came together in 1991, he was a truly formidable force

IndyCar
Mar 6, 2021
How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite Plus

How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite

The second year of McLaren's full-time IndyCar return is looming, with Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up. Strong team personnel and work behind the scenes means that 2021 could be the year it joins the established elite

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart Plus

The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart

Flashes of brilliance amid spells of obscurity have been too common for Marco Andretti. While the third-generation racer has opted to bring his full-time IndyCar career to a close, his peaks and troughs have never been for want of trying

IndyCar
Jan 20, 2021
Why American racing's top dog is without equal Plus

Why American racing's top dog is without equal

A byword for success in business and in motorsport for over 50 years, Roger Penske's importance to the US scene cannot be understated. In an exclusive interview, the custodian of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway reflects on his journey

IndyCar
Jan 11, 2021
The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete Plus

The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete

When founder Bruce McLaren died in June 1970, his team could have folded. Instead, his loyal band rallied to produce a string of winners - including an Indycar game-changer that won its third Indianapolis 500 five years after its debut

IndyCar
Dec 22, 2020
Why Newgarden's best IndyCar season yet wasn't enough Plus

Why Newgarden's best IndyCar season yet wasn't enough

Josef Newgarden feels he didn't put a foot wrong in 2020, yet his finest season-long run of performances failed to yield a third series championship. But in a warning shot to Scott Dixon, Team Penske's team leader has vowed to redouble his efforts in 2021

IndyCar
Dec 21, 2020