Luca Filippi with Dale Coyne Racing at Phoenix IndyCar test
Photo: Chris Owens

Dale Coyne Racing will embark on its 32nd year of competition as a two-car effort, with Luca Filippi confirmed to drive the team’s second entry for the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

The 30-year-old Italian driver will spend the weekend in St. Petersburg at the controls of the team’s No. 19 Honda in his 19th Verizon IndyCar Series start and first with the team.

After collecting four top-10 finishes last season, inclusive of a career-best second on the streets of Toronto, the chance still exists that Luca Filippi will have the first full-season IndyCar ride of his career after three consecutive partial campaigns, as the team is working to put together a deal for the rest of the 2016 season with the Italian.

Quick Stop at Sebring

Luca Filippi and Conor Daly, set for his first full year in the Verizon IndyCar Series, recently spent one day at Florida’s Sebring International Raceway following the “Test in the West” at Phoenix International Raceway.

“It was nice to test at Sebring last week before starting the season,” said Filippi.

“We were mainly focusing on getting a good balance and a good pace. I normally always try to focus on a race pace because if you can be fast and consistent then you have a better chance for a strong result.

“I feel very positive going to St. Petersburg. First of all, Honda have done a good job in providing us with an improved aero kit and more power. I think it will be very competitive between all the teams.

“From the team point of view, I see that Dale Coyne Racing is really motivated to boost the level of the team even more this year, and I think that with myself and Conor we have a good combination and I think we could really get strong results.”

The season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will go green at 12:52 p.m. EST on Sunday, March 13.