IndyCar »

Filippi linked to Rahal seat

Luca Filippi - the 2011 GP2 championship runner-up - is being linked to a prospective second seat at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for 2012.
Luca Filippi's fairy-tale storming run to the runners-up spot in the 2011 GP2 championship following a mid-season switch to Scuderia Coloni almost stole the headlines from the series champion Romain Grosjean.

Yet while Grosjean got his reward with a seat at Lotus F1, and other GP2 drivers including Charles Pic also got called up to the Grand Prix paddock, Filippi himself was conspicuously unwanted by the F1 teams despite his success.

Now it seems that the 26-year-old Italian has got the message and set his sights on finding success in the US instead.

According to reports from the US, Filippi is the current favourite to take any second seat at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing alongside Takuma Sato. RLL have a deal for two Honda engines for 2012, and Filippi is well connected with the engine manufacturer having been a test driver for the former Honda F1 operation.

Filippi has been linked to the RLL seat since late 2011 by "multiple sources" according to SPEED.com, but everything hinges on whether team co-owner Bobby Rahal can pull off all the necessary business deals to make it financial viable.

"It's the usual deal. We're very close on the second car, have contracts going back and forth," Rahal told reporters on Monday.

"[Then] there's a line that needs to be adjusted or whatever, and the contracts make another round for review. It's ordinary stuff, but I think we'll be in good shape shortly."

Rahal then lobbed in a small hand grenade into the discussion by adding: "And we also have a third car in play that's also close."

Former Champ Car driver Michel Jourdain might be the driver Rahal has in mind for the third seat if it does happen.

Since leaving Champ Car at the end of 2004, the Mexican has tried his hand in WTCC, A1GP, WRC and the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

Whoever gets the nod, the driver line-up should become clear very soon. With RLL already behind the majority of teams when it comes to on-track testing of the new car, Rahal promised that “You'll see at least two cars at the Barber [Motorsports Park] test next week."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Takuma Sato and Hideki Mutoh ahead of the Indy Japan weekend at Motegi. [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
Martin Plowman tops the Infineon Saturday practice session timings. [Photo Credit: IndyCar Media]
Sam Schmidt, speaking at the announcement that his team had signed Simon Pagenaud as their driver for 2012. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Bobby Rahal at Iowa Speedway [Photo Credit: IndyCar Media]
Luca Filippi delighted at
Sebastien Bourdais with his son after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
The red flag is waived halting attempts to start Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto on Saturday. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway and Team Owner Ed Carpenter celebrate victory in Race 2 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais gets a congratulatory hug from team co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Chevrolet sweeps the podium with winner Mike Conway (center), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. Tony Kanaan (left), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet celebrates his second-place finish. Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his third-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway on his way to victory in the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway jumps for joy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway with the winner`s flag after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway receives the winner`s trophy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.