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.

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”