Luca Filippi to test at Phoenix for Coyne, full-time deal ‘could be imminent’

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Luca Filippi is entered as driver for the No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda for this weekend’s two-day Verizon IndyCar Series test at Phoenix International Raceway.

While Filippi has not been officially named as the driver of Coyne’s second full-time car for the 2016 season – and the Coyne second car is notorious for being one of if not the last confirmed seats in the series – signs appear to be pointing in that direction.

Per a Motorsport.com report, while Coyne is reportedly in talks with as many as six different drivers, the report claimed “a deal with (Filippi) could be imminent.”

Filippi drove for Ed Carpenter’s then-CFH Racing team in road and street course events in 2015. In 10 races, Filippi’s best finish was second at Toronto.

Filippi also competed in four races each for Rahal Letterman Racing in 2014 and Bryan Herta Autosport in 2013.

Coyne told Motorsport.com that Filippi “would be a good fit for the team.”

While the only oval experience the 20-year-old Italian has had has been a test at Iowa last year, that’s not a deal breaker for Coyne.

“That hasn’t been out of choice,” Coyne told Motorsport.com of Filippi’s lack of oval tenure. “That was just the deal he had with Ed (Carpenter). … He seems keen and enthusiastic about the whole idea (of racing on ovals).

If Filippi is chosen for Coyne’s second car, he would be teammates with Conor Daly, who joined the team in December and who will compete for IndyCar Rookie of the Year.

In a sense, Filippi could be making a final audition for the DCR ride during the Phoenix test. Among other names that have popped up in contention for the ride is Gabby Chaves, who became available after the recent merger between Bryan Herta Autosport and Andretti Autosport.

While Coyne has gone with revolving driver lineups in the past, the team may be inclined to just have two full-time drivers only in 2016.

 

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X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.