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INDYCAR NEWS 

Luca Filippi's Indy 500 debut in doubt

Luca FilippiLuca Filippi's planned IndyCar debut at the Indianapolis 500 is in serious doubt as the season's showpiece event draws closer.

The 2011 GP2 runner-up originally signed a deal with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for this year, which was meant to start with the Indy 500.

However, reports surfaced earlier this month that former Champ Car racer Michel Jourdain Jr could land the seat, and the team has scheduled an announcement for Wednesday which is expected to be a confirmation of a one-off deal for the Mexican.

"We are still working on the Indy 500, but it's not going to be easy," Filippi told AUTOSPORT. "But the goal is to make sure that once I jump in a car it is until the end of the season, so I have a proper programme, a proper chance, and not just a one-off.

"I want to race in IndyCar as soon as possible, and the Indy 500 is a dream. I want to do it one day, but it doesn't need to be now."

The Italian added that he could benefit from making his debut on a road or street circuit, where he would have a better chance of running competitively due to his experience of European racing.

"From one point of view it would be nice to do Indy this year because as a rookie it will be tough," he said. "So if you do it now then next year you go back with some more knowledge.

"But on the other hand, maybe I can put myself in a better position if I start on a road course and I can get closer to the front. Once I have a chance I will jump in a car, wherever it is. But it is not in my hands."

Filippi, who finished as runner-up to Romain Grosjean in GP2 last year, said the Lotus Formula 1 driver's podium finish in last weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix would help him when talking to potential backers for an IndyCar drive.

"I think that Romain is proving how tough GP2 was last year, and how good it was," he added. "Those of us who knew about GP2 knew this already, but it's nice to put that on the table for everyone to see."

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