Juri Vips

IndyCar: Jur Vips, sacked for racial slur handed IndyCar debut

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced that Juri Vips will make his IndyCar debut for the team at Portland and Laguna Seca.

Juri Vips
Juri Vips

Vips drove an Indy car for the first time on October 12, 2022 at Sebring International Raceway in a test for the team and again at Barber Motorsports Park on March 13, 2023. He has also performed static simulator testing for the team during the season.

Vips contract with Red Bull was terminated over a year ago after he made a racist comment on social media.

At the time, Red Bull concluded: “Following its investigation into an online incident involving Juri Vips, Oracle Red Bull Racing has terminated Juri’s contract as its test and reserve driver.

“The team do not condone any form of racism.”

As a result, Vips lost his association with Red Bull, and his drive in F2 – F1’s feeder series.

However, he’s set to make his return to full-time racing in IndyCar.

“Bobby’s [Rahal] also one to give second chances, and I’m extremely grateful that he is giving me one, and I really hope to bring a good result for him, Mike [Lanigan] and the whole team.”

BOBBY RAHAL, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: “I’m very pleased for the team to enter Juri in the Portland and Laguna Seca races. Clearly, he was the lead Red Bull Junior driver a few years ago and exhibited a lot of talent, which we saw during the two tests he ran with us so we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do on a race weekend.”

JURI VIPS, driver of the No. 30 Honda at Portland and Laguna Seca: “I’m super happy to get the opportunity with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and very thankful to Bobby, Mike and everyone at the team. I haven’t been driving all year so the anticipation for this opportunity has been immense but I’m really looking forward to starting again. We tested together at the end of 2022 in Sebring and it seemed like we just gelled. I got along with everyone and I really like the atmosphere at the team. Bobby’s also one to give second chances and I’m extremely grateful that he is giving me one and I really hope to bring a good result for him, Mike and the whole team.
“I hope I can prove myself and most importantly get them into the Winners Circle, which is always my main mission. I feel ready for these races, I think the tracks suit my experience and driving style and the car as well. I’ve already integrated myself with the team this year, doing some work for them on the simulator so I already know the people and feel very comfortable with everyone which is a big benefit for me as well.
(On preparation for a new track) “There is not much you can do other than simulation and look at data so that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been making sure that I will be as ready as I can to race. Obviously, I’ve only done two test days in the last 10 months so I haven’t done a lot of driving so that is definitely going to limit me but I’m doing absolutely everything I can to get as good of a result as possible.

(On familiar faces in INDYCAR) “Marcus Armstrong was my teammate twice actually — in 2017 and in 2022. He’s a good guy that I know really well. And I also raced against Christian (Lundgaard) in 2019 and 2021, Alex Palou in 2018 and a few races with Callum Ilott in 2020. I look forward to racing them again.”

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