Jüri Vips tests with David Letterman-owned Indycars team

Jüri Vips
Jüri Vips Source: SCANPIX / IMAGO/PanoramiC

Estonian Formula Two racing driver Jüri Vips was due to test with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Wednesday, taking the wheel in their Indycar Series car.

Indycars – the name derives from the legendary Indianapolis 500 race held nearly every May in the city of the same name for over a century – is one of the most prestigious US racing series, effectively North America's answer to Formula One.

Vips, 22, from Tallinn, reportedly tested at the Sebring International Raceway in Florida on Wednesday.

While Vips had progressed from Formula Three to Formula Two and was a part of the  Red Bull Junior Team, was the first Estonian ever to drive a Formula One car at a race weekend (in practice) and seemingly on-track for a potential Formula One drive, homophobic and racist remarks he apparently made in the course of a filmed online video game session have likely seriously dented his chances on that career path for the meantime.

Motorsport media has tipped Vips to replace Briton Jack Harvey, who has been underperforming for the team this year, compared with teammates Graham Rahal and Christian Lundgaard, ERR's sports portal reports.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's owners, as the name would suggest, include former top talk show host David Letterman and three-time Indycar championship winner Bobby Rahal.

The team finished a disappointing 11th overall this season, though one bright spot was Lundgaard's finishing top out of all the season's rookies.

While to the casual observer there might not be much to choose from between Formula One cars and Indycars, the two series and their cars are very different. For instance, the Indycar series only hosts two engine manufacturers at present, Chevrolet and Honda, races take place in the US and Canada only compared with the wholly global Formula One, while Indycars have long used an 85-percent ethanol mix as fuel compared with gasoline used up to now in Formula One.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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