Posted on: July 31, 2014

Belardi Auto Racing announced today that Zimbabwe racer, Axcil 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 realize 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.


Starting Grid, Inc. team principal Chris Miles had this to say: “I am tremendously pleased to continue our motorsport diversity initiative with Honda this weekend at Mid-Ohio (Sports Car Course), as well as resume our UNAIDS “Protect The Goal” HIV/AIDS advocacy campaign for Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination and Zero AIDS-related deaths.”


“I want to thank Brian (Belardi) and everyone at Belardi Auto Racing for their continued belief in our program, and we look forward to helping keep the momentum moving forward in their quest to win the Indy Lights championship and our quest to get HIV and AIDS to Zero.” continued Miles.


Dr. 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.”


“We appreciate Starting Grid providing a platform in which we can honor the memory of members of our HIV/AIDS response family that dedicated their lives to helping change the lives of others.” said Diallo.

Practice for the Indy Lights race will take place on Friday, August 2 from 1:05p – 1:45p. ET. Qualifying is scheduled for Saturday, August 2 from 9:00a – 9:45a ET, followed by the first Indy Lights race with an estimated start time of 3:25p. Sunday, August 3 will be the second Indy Lights race with an estimated start time of 11:55a ET.


The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of ZERO new HIV infections, ZERO discrimination and ZERO AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners to maximize results for the AIDS response. Learn more at and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.


About Starting Grid & Chris Miles:
In 1994, New Albany, Indiana native Chris Miles founded Starting Grid, Inc. in an effort to facilitate equal opportunities for minority participation within all facets of the motorsports industry. Starting Grid, Inc. has been the facilitator of a motorsports diversity initiative in partnership with American Honda since 2011. Presently, Starting Grid will help amplify the UNAIDS “Protect the Goal” HIV/AIDS advocacy campaign in partnership with the FIFA World Cup through various global motorsport activations as their Global Motorsport Marketing Adviser. For more information, visit and connect on Twitter: @SGI_1994


About Belardi Auto Racing:
Belardi Auto Racing is an organization comprised of experienced individuals in the racing industry with an aggressive growth strategy and a strong commitment to finishing up front. No stranger to winning, team members having been achieving success in both the amateur and pro ranks for over a decade, winning numerous junior formula car races and championships. Based in Brownsburg, Ind., Belardi Auto Racing contests multi-car efforts in both the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda series. Goal- oriented and focused on developing the next stars of motorsports, Belardi Auto Racing won in both Indy Lights and USF2000 Championship in 2013.