IndyCar 2016 driver review: Luca Filippi

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MotorSportsTalk continues its look through the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, in 2016. Luca Filippi had a potential full-season effort with Dale Coyne Racing go away after a handful of starts, but he was present in IndyCar for a fourth consecutive partial campaign.

Luca Filippi, No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda

  • 2015: 21st Place (10 starts), Best Finish 2nd, Best Start 6th, 1 Podium, 1 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 2 Laps Led, 12.4 Avg. Start, 13.9 Avg. Finish
  • 2016: 26th Place (5 starts), Best Finish 14th, Best Start 12th, 0 Top-5, 0 Top-10, 0 Laps Led, 13.2 Avg. Start, 17.8 Avg. Finish

The likable Italian, Filippi had his fourth chance at IndyCar when Dale Coyne Racing brought him in to at least start the year. And grid spots of 15th, 16th, 12th and 12th were nothing to scoff at all – especially considering the Honda aero kit, while better, still wasn’t a match for the Chevrolet.

But in the races, Filippi often faded to the rear of the field in his No. 19 Honda. It came as little surprise to most when Coyne pulled a switcheroo and brought in Gabby Chaves for the month of May, considering Chaves was still available. Filippi’s lack of results, though, were perhaps vindicated when Chaves couldn’t do much better in his seven starts, before Filippi made a one-off return back at Toronto. Bad caution timing there prevented a possible top-10.

Between driving for Bryan Herta, Bobby Rahal, Ed Carpenter and now Coyne, Filippi’s already been through almost half the paddock, and has had few standout weekends from start-to-finish.

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.