Filippi lands Barracuda seat for Mid-Ohio
2 August 2013 – Following a successful Open Test outing with Barracuda Racing on Wednesday, Luca Filippi has been handed his IndyCar race debut at this weekend's Mid-Ohio round.
The Italian, 27, had been set to enter the series earlier in the year but hit sponsorship difficulties. He will pilot the No. 98 car previously driven by Alex Tagliani, who has stepped aside as the team evaluates its line-up options for the 2014 campaign.
"I’m very grateful to the Barracuda Racing team for this great opportunity because this is what I’ve been waiting for my whole life," said Filippi, a multiple GP2 Series race winner. "It was very good that we had an Openest and I had a chance to work with the crew and engineers. I think we worked well together and they really looked after me.
"Obviously I’m a rookie but I’m a racer and I’m competitive. I really want to do well and show that even though I have a different background, I can prove my abilities."
Team co-owner Bryan Herta said: "Luca did a really good job during the test. We were very impressed with his quick adaptation to both a car and circuit that were completely new to him. We are all very excited to see how he does under race conditions."
J. R. Hildebrand, who parted ways with Panther Racing in May, has also been linked with an appearance for Herta's squad before the end of the season. Tagliani is to remain under contract with the team and will race when no other driver is found.