Don’t pencil him into a seat just yet, but Zachary Claman De Melo is said to be under consideration for at least one opportunity in IndyCar next season.
The French-Canadian Indy Lights driver made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing at Sonoma and gave a strong impression of his capabilities by setting some of the fastest laps in the race. The recent opening at Dale Coyne Racing could be the best fit for De Melo, who has met with the Illinois-based outfit and would give IndyCar its third Canadian driver if he can come to terms to pilot the car vacated by Ed Jones.
“I’m working with sponsors, speaking to my sponsors from last year, working on building the relationship with them to be [in IndyCar] for the full year and we’ll continue to have more meetings,” he told RACER.
The 19-year-old, who scored a decisive victory at Road America in June for the Carlin Racing Indy Lights team, expects to know more about his funding options in the coming weeks.
“I’ve had positive meetings, I don’t know if we’re close to the full budget yet, and it really depends on how the next meetings go,” he added.
With IndyCar’s private testing ban set to end on Jan. 7, the Montreal native has set a personal deadline for team negotiations.
“There’s a limited amount of seats left, and if it’s going to be done, it would have to be before that date because testing is super important,” he said. “If I do end up getting a deal done, it would have to be before January 7, for sure.”