Dale Coyne Racing’s Pietro Fittipaldi is returning to Verizon IndyCar Series action this weekend after being sidelined due to leg injuries suffered in a sportscar event in May. Fittipaldi will be back behind the wheel of the #19 Paysafe entry for the remaining five rounds of the season starting with the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
After more than two months of hard word, perseverance and rehabilitation, the rookie took part in a successful evaluation test day last week aboard the team’s #19 Paysafe car, marking his unofficial return behind the wheel since his May 4 qualifying incident in the FIA WEC event at Spa-Francorchamps.
“I was really happy with my first day back in the Paysafe car last week during our evaluation day," expressed Fittipaldi. “It was a big relief for me after two months of just doing a lot of training, physical therapy and working to be healthy and to be able to get back driving. To run my first laps last week was a really big relief because it showed that I was able to do it. I felt good and comfortable in the car and the test day went really well.
“Mid-Ohio will be my first Verizon IndyCar Series race weekend on a road course and I’m really looking forward to it. I never raced at Mid-Ohio before, but I enjoyed it a lot during the test. It’s a really technical track. I think qualifying is going to be very important because there’s not that many places to overtake. I just can’t wait to be on track again," added Fittipaldi.
This weekend’s 90-lap event will be his second Verizon IndyCar Series start and first on a road course after making his debut at Phoenix International Raceway in April where he qualified an impressive 10th for his oval debut.
Fittipaldi will have three practice sessions (two Friday and one Saturday) on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn natural-terrain road course ahead of qualifying which will be broadcast live on NBCSN on Saturday, July 28 from 1:30pm ET.
The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio will be broadcast live on CNBC on Sunday, July 29 from 3:00pm ET with an encore presentation on NBCSN later that evening starting at 6:30pm ET. The 13th round of the 2018 season can also be heard live on the Advance Auto Parts IndyCar Radio Network, including SIRIUS/XM 209/214.
AR1.com caught up with Fittipaldi at PitFit while he was rehabing