Luca Filippi working toward IndyCar full-season chance

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AUSTIN – After impressing again in limited appearances in the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series, Italian Luca Filippi is looking to work toward a full-season effort in 2015.

Filippi raced in four 2014 events with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and along with Oriol Servia, were really the only two part-time drivers in the past season. No other drivers ran more than two events beyond the standard 22 full-time cars.

He made the Firestone Fast Six at Houston qualifying fourth, in his first time in an IndyCar since Houston the previous October, some eight months previous.

Now, Filippi told MotorSportsTalk in Austin he is keen on having a full-season opportunity. A year ago, jumping in short notice at Houston and Toronto was less than ideal for him, but it still provided him a showcase after his missing out at the Bryan Herta Autosport seat.

“Ideally, I want to do a full season,” he said. “It was nice, but it would be better to have a full buildup before getting in the car.”

Filippi seeks to use some of his technical expertise – he has done tire testing and development with Pirelli – to use as the series heads toward a season of new aero kits.

“They have to be careful to not lose the competition (with the aero kits),” Filippi explained. “You have such a great championship and you can just get in, go, and become competitive. The platform is there to succeed right away.”

He has spent this year doing the aforementioned Pirelli tire testing and doing F1 commentary work for Europe’s Sky Sports.

Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023

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Jamie Chadwick, the three-time W Series champion, will drive for Andretti Autosport in the Indy NXT Series next season.

Chadwick will make her debut in an American racing series in March, driving the No. 28 for Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from DHL. The 24-year-old will become the first female driver in 13 years to compete full time in the Indy NXT championship.

Chadwick joined the female free-to-enter W Series in its inaugural 2019 season, winning two races and the first of three consecutive championships. She has been a reserve driver for the Williams Formula One team and will continue in that role in 2023. She also has driven in the Extreme E Series.

Despite her success, Chadwick hasn’t landed a bigger ride in F3 or F2, and her break didn’t come until Michael Andretti contacted her and offered a test in an Indy NXT car.

The final three races of this year’s W Series schedule were canceled when funding fell through, but Chadwick still believes the all-female series was the right path for her.

“W Series has always been and will continue to be an opportunity to be racing for every female driver, so for my side, I looked at it while perhaps I would have liked to step up maybe earlier, at the same time being able to have that chance to race, get that experience, have that development, seat time… I was constantly learning,” Chadwick told The Associated Press.

“In that sense, I wasn’t frustrated at all. But on the flip side of it, now I’ve had that experience testing in the United States in Indy NXT and this is something I’m really excited about.”

Chadwick also is expected to have an enhanced role as a development driver next season with Williams, which chose American driver Logan Sargeant to fill its open seat on next year’s F1 grid.

“Andretti Autosport is proud to be supporting Jamie alongside DHL,” said Michael Andretti. “Jamie’s successful career speaks for itself, but Indy NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.

“We’ve turned out five Indy NXT champions over the years and look forward to continuing our role in developing new talent.”

Indy NXT is the new name of the rebranded Indy Lights Series, the final step on the ladder system before IndyCar.

Andretti will field two drivers next season in IndyCar that were developed in Indy NXT: Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 champion, will return to Andretti after one season in IndyCar driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco is back for a second season.

Chadwick will be teammates in Indy NXT with Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster. She becomes Andretti’s second full-time female driver alongside Catie Munnings, who competes for Andretti United in the Extreme E Series.