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Filippi buoyed by first CFH IndyCar test, Daly runs with Schmidt

Luca Filippi says he is feeling increasingly encouraged about his 2015 IndyCar campaign with CFH Racing after testing with the team for the first time on Tuesday

The Italian was confirmed last week as the team's road/street course driver in its #20 car, with CFH co-owner Ed Carpenter to take the wheel for the oval events.

Filippi was among eight drivers to turn laps at Sebring on Tuesday, and said that he is becoming increasingly excited about the year ahead.

"I can't tell you how happy I am," he said. "I've been chasing a contract for a while and I don't remember the last time I had the opportunity to have a proper programme with a proper contract in time to go testing and make things right before the first race.

"I'm looking forward to working with the guys, the team is getting bigger and the goal is for everybody to do well. I couldn't ask for a better situation."

His arrival will also mark the first time that the team's other driver Josef Newgarden has a team-mate.

The American has spent his entire IndyCar career up to this point with the single-car Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing operation, which merged with Ed Carpenter Racing over the winter.

"Having Luca here has been fun, to learn his traits and what we both like in trying to maximise two cars," said Newgarden.

"That's the big thing for us - how to do that efficiently and keep up with everyone else. It's been fun just getting back in the car after a long winter break."

DALY TESTS FOR SCHMIDT

Also testing at Sebring were Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Carlos Munoz from Andretti Autosport, Graham Rahal from Rahal Letterman Lanigan, and James Hinchcliffe driving for Schmidt alongside Conor Daly, who is still hunting for an IndyCar ride for 2015.

The GP2 regular matched Hinchcliffe's times during the morning, and said that he was grateful for the experience.

"It is the dream and the goal to be competing full-time in IndyCar," he said. "This is a great first start with this opportunity to test."

Teams used the current Dallara bodywork for the test even though that specification may never be raced again following the cancellation of the planned season-opener at Brasilia.

The new manufacturer aero kits will be run publicly for the first time at the open test at Barber on March 16-17, and will make their race debut two weeks later at the new 2015 curtain-raiser in St Petersburg.

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