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IndyCar Portland

Vips gets IndyCar shot with Rahal Letterman Lanigan in final two races

Former Red Bull junior Juri Vips will make his IndyCar debut this weekend at Portland, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

Juri Vips, Hitech GP

Vips will drive the #30 car that Jack Harvey vacated for the final three races of the season, as Bobby Rahal’s team evaluates talent for its 2024 line-up.

The 23-year-old is a three-time Formula 2 race winner and a part of the Red Bull Junior Team between 2018 and 2022, but he was dropped after he used a racial slur on a Twitch livestream – just a month after making his F1 free practice debut at the Spanish Grand Prix.

He drove an IndyCar for the first time in October 2022 at Sebring in a test for RLL and again at Barber in March of this year. He has also performed static simulator testing for the team during this season.

“I’m very pleased for the team to enter Juri in the Portland and Laguna Seca races,” said Rahal.

“Clearly, he was the lead Red Bull Junior driver a few years ago and exhibited a lot of talent, which we saw during the two tests he ran with us so we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do on a race weekend.”

Vips will drive this weekend at Portland and at the Laguna Seca season finale a week later and is expected to feature in the team’s plans next season.

His primary target is to ensure the #30 car finishes in the top 22 in entrants’ points to qualify for next year’s ‘Winners Circle’ program, which is worth almost $1m to each entry.

Conor Daly, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Conor Daly, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

The car is currently tied on 160 points with Meyer Shank Racing’s #60, which will be driven by Tom Blomqvist in the two events.

Vips said: “I’m super happy to get the opportunity with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and very thankful to Bobby, Mike [Lanigan] and everyone at the team.

“I haven’t been driving all year so the anticipation for this opportunity has been immense but I’m really looking forward to starting again.

“We tested together at the end of 2022 in Sebring and it seemed like we just gelled. I got along with everyone and I really like the atmosphere at the team.

"Bobby’s also one to give second chances and I’m extremely grateful that he is giving me one and I really hope to bring a good result for him, Mike and the whole team.

“I hope I can prove myself and most importantly get them into the Winners Circle, which is always my main mission.

"I feel ready for these races, I think the tracks suit my experience and driving style and the car as well.

“I’ve already integrated myself with the team this year, doing some work for them on the simulator so I already know the people and feel very comfortable with everyone which is a big benefit for me as well.”

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