Juri Vips will drive remaining two IndyCar races for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing this yr

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will area Juri Vips, a veteran of Europe’s System feeder collection, in its No. 30 Dallara-Honda for the ultimate two races of the season.

The Estonian driver will make his debut this weekend at Portland Worldwide Raceway. Vips, 23, examined with the IndyCar staff final Oct. 12 at Sebring Worldwide Raceway and March 13 at Barber Motorsports Park, and he has been doing sim testing with RLL this season.

Vips has been out of racing since he was suspended by Crimson Bull in June 2022 for using a racial slur during a live-streamed gaming session. He subsequently misplaced his journey with Crimson Bull Racing (the place he had been a reserve driver who had been in System One practices) and the Crimson Bull Junior Staff.

“It’s no secret that he made a mistake and paid an enormous worth, however folks in Europe who I knew had been very, very complimentary about him as a driver and as an individual,” RLL co-owner Bobby Rahal stated in a Zoom information convention Monday. “This error was a single mistake. Sadly, as everyone knows, Juri paid an enormous worth for that and misplaced his place within the Crimson Bull system, which he was the preeminent junior driver on the time.

“We obtained to fulfill Juri. An individual I respect an incredible deal in Europe gave him, from a driving standpoint, an incredible analysis of him, and we thought it might be price giving him a shot. Juri is an efficient particular person and made an enormous mistake.”

Since dropping his journey, Vips has been via a number of variety sensitivity coaching packages in England and in america (via RISE, the identical program utilized by NASCAR champion Kyle Larson).

“He has proven us sufficient for us to take that likelihood to provide him a shot, and he has actually labored arduous to right the error that he made,” Rahal stated. “So we’re enthusiastic about him becoming a member of the staff for these final two races, and hopefully he’ll do properly.”

Stated Vips: “I had quite a lot of time to mirror on who I dissatisfied. I had so many followers, so many individuals cheering for me, so many individuals that helped me via my profession, and I simply threw all of it away as a result of I wasn’t focused on studying about something. All I cared about was racing.

“I really feel like I’ve grown as an individual, however yeah, I’m actually grateful for the second likelihood, and I utterly perceive all of the outrage.”

Vips is acquainted with IndyCar drivers from the F2 Sequence, having raced there in opposition to RLL teammate Christian Lundgaard. He additionally competed in opposition to Callum Illot and Marcus Armstrong.

Although it’s basically a tryout for the No. 30 (which lately was vacated by Jack Harvey), the stakes are also excessive as RLL is attempting to maintain the automotive within the prime 22 in entrant factors for IndyCar’s Leaders Circle bonus program (the No. 30 is ranked twenty second, one level forward of Juncos Hollinger Racing’s No. 78).

Rahal stated the staff is speaking to different drivers concerning the No. 30 for 2024, however Vips is a candidate. Along with the 2 race weekends, there additionally will probably be an open check at Laguna Seca for a daylong analysis.

“When it comes to the place Juri is in that blend, I feel first issues first, and that’s let’s go do the races and let’s see how they kind themselves out,” Rahal stated. “Clearly, now we have an curiosity in Juri, simply as now we have an curiosity in others, however it’s all about let’s simply get via this after which undergo the method.

“We nonetheless have some sponsors to signal, so there’s nonetheless quite a lot of work to do, however we’re simply glad we’re in a position to be able to provide Juri this opportunity. And who is aware of? Someone else might want him in the event that they see and if he does pretty much as good as I feel he can do.

“However first issues first. After Sept. 15, we’ll see the place every little thing falls out.”

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