Belardi Auto Racing Announce Second USF2000 Driver

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Nov. 8, 2011) -- Mazda Road to Indy team, Belardi Auto Racing, announced today that Australian native Roman Lagudi has signed with their USF2000 team.

The 16-year-old started his racing career in karts and impressed many when he captured the Las Vegas Karting Champion title in 2005 at just 10-years-old. Roman took a brief hiatus from 2006 to 2008, however, when he returned to karting in 2009, Roman finished his season in Junior Tag in 20th. The young driver also competed at SuperNationals that year and started the race in 80th. Most recently, Lagudi competed in seven out of twelve rounds of competition in the Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda 2010 season where he had seven Top 10s and two Top 5s with a podium in Baltimore.

"Roman really caught our attention in Baltimore this past season," team owner Brian Belardi said. "He showed great pace throughout the weekend, and the whole team thinks he is a great addition to our USF2000 program. We are happy to welcome him to the team and l can't wait to see how his season unfolds."

The team was also impressed at their recent test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "Roman showed well in testing at IMS by setting the second fastest time in the last session, although struggling with a minor engine issue."

"We are all excited that he has joined us for 2012, and know that he will be a strong addition to our team. Roman has great focus and can get the job done when the time comes, and we believe he will be a frontrunner in the USF2000 Championship fight next season," said Belardi Auto Racing's USF2000 team manager, Chuck Lessick.

Lagudi is also looking forward to a great year: "I am very happy to be a part of a great team like Belardi Auto Racing. I'm really looking forward to working with all the guys on the team, and I already know I have a great group of people to help me succeed - from my engineer, to my driver coach, to our team owner. I hope to make them all proud this year."

About Roman

2012 Schedule:

Sebring International Raceway, Florida
March 14-16, 2012
(With American Le Mans)
Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida
March 23-25, 2012
(With IZOD IndyCar Series)
Lucas Oil Raceway, Indiana
May 26, 2012
(Night Before the 500 with USAC)
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
August 3-5, 2012
(With IZOD IndyCar Series and ALMS)
Road America, Wisconsin
August 17-19, 2012
(With American Le Mans)
Streets of Baltimore, Maryland
September 1-2, 2012
(With IZOD IndyCar Series and ALMS)
Virginia International Raceway
September 14-15, 2012
(With American Le Mans)