Dale Coyne confirms Zachary Claman De Melo for Indianapolis 500

Dale Coyne Racing has confirmed that Zachary Claman De Melo will replace Pietro Fittipaldi at this year’s Indianapolis 500, completing the 35-car field.

Claman De Melo and Fittipaldi were set to share driving duties in the No. 19 car this season, with the reigning Formula 3.5 champion lined up for the iconic 500-mile race.

However, Fittipaldi sustained leg fractures in a high-speed crash during qualifying for the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps and has been ruled out of action for an indefinite period.

Claman De Melo substituted for Fittipaldi at last weekend’s IndyCar Grand Prix at Indianapolis’ road course, finishing 12th, and Dale Coyne confirmed on Tuesday that the Canadian will remain in the car for the Indianapolis 500.

Claman De Melo has yet to compete in an IndyCar race on an oval but ran two editions of Indy Lights’ Freedom 100, finishing in sixth position last year.

“I’m very much looking forward to turning my first laps aboard the No. 19 on the oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” Claman De Melo said.

“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 can’t wait to get on track to complete my rookie orientation programme.”