Zachary Claman DeMelo and Pietro Fittipaldi have been named to Dale Coyne Racing’s No. 19 Honda for 2018, filling the last remaining full-time car for the upcoming Verizon IndyCar Series season.
DeMelo, having made his IndyCar debut at the season-ending GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma last year, will contest the season-opening event this year on the streets of St. Petersburg. By participating in nine further races in 2018, the 19-year-old Canadian will be in the car for three more race weekends than Fittipaldi.
As the grandson to two-time Formula One World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi, Pietro’s program for his rookie IndyCar season includes the Indianapolis 500, which his grandfather also captured twice in his career. Fittipaldi’s race debut will come at the second round of the year, held April 7 at ISM Raceway in Phoenix.
After reaching the top 10 in points during the last two Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires seasons, DeMelo will race at all five street-circuit events plus three ovals and two road courses. Reigning World Series Formula V8 3.5 champion Fittipaldi will be in the car at the three other ovals plus four road courses, including the last two races of the year.
Global payments provider Paysafe will offer year-round support to not only their brand ambassador DeMelo but also Fittipaldi as the primary sponsor of the second Dale Coyne-entered car.
“Paysafe helped me attain a life ambition last September when I made my Verizon IndyCar Series debut in Sonoma,” DeMelo said. “I am hugely grateful for their ongoing support as I prepare for the forthcoming races.”
Fittipaldi will participate in rookie oval testing in Phoenix on Thursday, Feb. 8 as well as the two-day open test on the following two days. DeMelo will climb back into the car later this month for more testing at Sebring International Raceway.