Luca Filippi has been confirmed as taking over the #98 Barracuda Racing/Bryan Herta Autosport car from Alex Tagliani for this weekend's Honda Indy 200 race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Filippi - who stormed to the runners-up spot in the 2011 GP2 Series in the year it was run by Romain Grosjean - turned out for the team in the mid-week test on Wednesday and was widely expected to take over the race seat from Alex Tagliani, who is stepping down from race duties after reaching an agreement with the team.
“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,” said team co-owner Bryan Herta. “We are all very excited to see how he does under race conditions.”
Filippi has been seeking a chance to race in the IZOD IndyCar Series race since leaving the GP2 Series, and came close to securing a ride with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in 2012.
“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," he added. "I think we worked well together and they really looked after me."
Making his series début on the 13-turn, 2.258-mile permanent road course in Lexington will be a better fit for Filippi than an oval event, and the 27-year-old from Savigliano, Italy said that he was enjoying the circuit.
“I like the Mid-Ohio circuit and the drivability of the car," he agreed. "I had a lot of fun at the test and we still have more time today to make improvements to get ready for [the race].
"Obviously I'm a rookie but I'm a racer and I'm competitive," he added. "I really want to do well and show that even though I have a different background, I can prove my abilities."