ACE Zimbabwean motor racing driver Axcil Jefferies has returned to Mid-Ohio, United States, to race for Belardi Auto Racing this weekend.
Belardi Auto Racing announced on Thursday that Jefferies will return to the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires championship, competing in the double-header race weekend during the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.
Belardi Auto Racing continues its partnership with Starting Grid, Inc, which has been a facilitator of a motorsports diversity initiative in partnership with American Honda for the past four seasons, and is now the Global Motorsport Marketing Adviser for the UNAIDS “Protect the Goal” HIV/AIDS advocacy campaign.
Jefferies, who will be making his third Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires start, will be at the controls of the No. 4 UNAIDS/Starting Grid/BAR entry.
“Obviously, I am very happy to be racing again in the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires championship. The bar has certainly been raised for me this year, competing with the championship leading team (Belardi Auto Racing), and my first start being the 10th round of the championship — but I have been training well, and as a racing driver you need to welcome these kind of opportunities and challenges with open arms, and I do,” said Jefferies.
“With that said, no matter what challenges I may face as a racing driver — I certainly realise that those challenges fail in comparison to the daily challenges of those affected by HIV and AIDS, so as a global sporting ambassador for the UNAIDS ‘Protect The Goal’ campaign, I look forward to helping raise whatever awareness I can driving the ZERO car this weekend,” continued Jefferies.
Djibril Diallo, Senior Adviser to UNAIDS Executive Director, added: “We are very excited with having another opportunity to bring recognition and awareness for the countless millions of men, women and children around the world who are affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. However, we are equally saddened and grieve the loss of the AIDS researchers and advocates who perished in the wake of the tragic events of Malaysia Flight MH17.”
Jefferies’ management team said: “We are very humbled and honoured that Axcil has been appointed by the United Nations as an ambassador for their AIDS awareness campaign. We are very excited to have Axcil get behind the wheel again after not having raced for several months, but Axcil has been training very hard and we all have confidence in his ability and we expect a decent result from him.
“Once again we would like to take this opportunity to thank all Axcil’s loyal supporters from across the globe who continue to support him.” Practice for the Indy Lights race took place yesterday. Qualifying is scheduled for today, followed by the first Indy Lights race. Tomorrow will be the second Indy Lights race.
In Thursday’s practice Jefferies was seventh fastest. Not bad considering he hasn’t driven the Indy Lights for a year.