Chase Austin

Belardi Auto Racing announced a partnership with Starting Grid, Inc. in which Chase Austin will compete in the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 23.

Austin, who will be making his fourth consecutive start in the Freedom 100, will drive the No. 0 UNAIDS/Starting Grid/BAR entry.

“I am extremely happy being back in the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires series, and to race in the Freedom 100 with the defending champions, Belardi Auto Racing is a great opportunity,” Austin said. “Obviously, I am with a team that has the ability to run up front, and considering our new partnership supporting the UNAIDS Protect the Goal campaign and me becoming a global sporting ambassador for the program, I definitely want to do well for them, American Honda, Starting Grid and everybody who continues to believe in me.”

Practice and qualifying are May 22, with the 40-lap race getting the green flag at 12:30 p.m. (ET) May 23.

Starting Grid, Inc. has been the facilitator of a motorsports diversity initiative in partnership with American Honda since 2011, and recently became the Global Motorsport Marketing Adviser for the UNAIDS Protect the Goal HIV/AIDS advocacy campaign in support of the FIFA World Cup.

“I cannot thank (team owner) Brian (Belardi) enough for providing this opportunity mid-season as BAR contends for the Indy Lights championship, and for the continued support of American Honda," Starting Grid team principal Chris Miles said. "For sure this elevates our level of expectation regarding our program this year, but we still have to keep in mind, this is the seventh race of the championship and Chase’s first outing. However, I remain very optimistic regarding a positive outcome.

“Additionally, we are extremely excited to utilize the Freedom 100 as an international backdrop to showcase the UNAIDS “Protect the Goal” messaging of Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination and Zero AIDS-related deaths.”