Filippi to Drive for Barracuda Racing at Mid-Ohio

Following a successful Open Test on Wednesday, Barracuda Racing has decided to continue with Luca Filippi as the driver of the No. 98 car for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on Sunday.

The Barracuda Racing team was pleased with the performance and feedback that 27-year-old Filippi provided during the IZOD IndyCar Series test day. The Italian driver was able to get up to speed quickly and gained confidence as he adapted throughout the day.

"Luca did a really good job during the test on Wednesday. We were very impressed with his quick adaptation to both a car and circuit that were completely new to him," noted team co-owner Bryan Herta. "We are all very excited to see how he does under race conditions."

Filippi started racing in the GP2 Series in 2006. In only his second year, he finished fourth in the Championship and was chosen as an F1 Test Driver by Honda F1. Two years later, he finished fifth in the Championship and then went on to earn second place in the GP2 Asia Series in 2010.

In 2011 he finished second in both the GP2 Series (with three wins and four podiums) and the Auto GP (with one win and six podiums).

"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. "I'm really looking forward to the weekend. It was very good that we had an open test and I had a chance to work with the crew and engineers. I think we worked well together and they really looked after me.

"I like the Mid-Ohio circuit and the drivability of the car. I had a lot of fun at the test and we still have more time today to make improvements to get ready for tomorrow. 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."

The team will offer media availability for Filippi today from 1:15-1:30 p.m. in the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course media center.

Practice begins today for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. The 90-lap race around the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course will take place on Sunday, August 4. Pre-race activities are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. ET with an estimated green flag at 3:40 p.m. The 14th race (of 19) on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network from 2-6 p.m.

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