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Rahal to field car for Filippi in 3 races

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (AP) - Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will field a car for Italian driver Luca Filippi in the IndyCar Series races at Houston and Toronto.

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The car Filippi will drive will have associate sponsorship from IMPCO, a supplier of alternative fuel systems, and FightSMA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a treatment or cure for spinal muscular atrophy.

RLL announced a 12-race program for Filippi in 2012 that never came to fruition because sponsorship was not found. Filippi made four IndyCar starts in 2013 for Bryan Herta Autosport, and finished a career-best 10th at Houston.

''We tried to get Luca into the team a few years back and even went so far as to build a seat, but we were unable to find the funding,'' said team co-owner Bobby Rahal. ''In the meantime he went to Bryan Herta's team and showed what he can do in the few races he ran for them.''

RLL fields one full-time entry for Graham Rahal, who has had a rough start to the season. He did finish a season-best second at Detroit after finishing last in the Indianapolis 500. RLL had fielded a second car for Oriol Servia in four races this season. Servia was seventh at Long Beach and 11th in the Indianapolis 500.

''I know the team is capable and has potential but it was good to see Graham on the podium in Detroit and so close to the win,'' said Filippi. ''That proved the car is working very well on a street course and I really expect to have a good feeling from the car again. I really enjoyed the Houston course last year so the expectation is high for a good result.''

Filippi won three races in 2011 in GP2, which is the European equivalent of the second-tier Indy Lights series. He finished second in the series standings.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
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