Barracuda IndyCar team announces Hildebrand and Filippi
Barracuda Racing announced today that JR Hildebrand and Luca Filippi will fill the seat of the No. 98 car to complete the 2013 season.
Twenty-five-year-old California native JR Hildebrand will make his return to the IZOD IndyCar Series, piloting the Barracuda Racing entry for the upcoming GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.
"I'm really excited to join Barracuda Racing this year, and have to give a big thank you to Bryan and the team for the opportunity," said Hildebrand. "Sonoma is where I got my racing start, so it'll be great to have another new experience there with a new team, and one that I've heard nothing but great things about.
"The Sonoma racetrack is not only in my backyard, but Barracuda Networks' also, so we'll be working hard to make it a good one all around. I can't wait to get started."
One week later, Luca Filippi will return to the Barracuda Networks sponsored No. 98 car at the Grand Prix of Baltimore. The Italian driver will also compete for Barracuda Racing in the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston double-header weekend.
Finally, Hildebrand will finish out the season, competing in the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway, where he lead 56 laps in last year's IndyCar season finale.
"JR is an exciting prospect for us," said team co-owner Bryan Herta. "He's a talented driver and it made sense for him to be able to compete at his 'home' races in Sonoma and Fontana.
"We were also very impressed with Luca and happy to give him two more outings. He made a good impression on everyone, and this will allow him the chance to race on American-style street circuits."
Barracuda Racing has a full schedule of events next week, leading up to what it considers its "home" race, just a short distance from Barracuda Networks headquarters. The team will take part in the "Food Bank 500" media event on Tuesday, August 20 to raise awareness for hunger in conjunction with Second Harvest Food Bank.
The following day, Barracuda Racing and JR Hildebrand will participate in the IZOD IndyCar Series open test at Sonoma Raceway. The team will then head into the race weekend, featuring three practice sessions and Firestone Fast Six qualifications before the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on Sunday, August 25.