BALTIMORE -- Luca Filippi wants everyone to know that he is relaxed, confident and impressed.
Filippi, who turned 28 four days after making his maiden IZOD IndyCar Series start Aug. 4 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, is back in the No. 98 Barracuda Racing car for the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT.
Click it: Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT entrant list
“First of all, it was a really big emotion for me to finally have an INDYCAR race,” he said. “I had the chance to learn about the car and work with the team, but mainly I will get to Baltimore without the kind of emotion and pressure I had because it was my first INDYCAR race. I just wanted to do well and next time maybe it will be easier.
“I have a good feeling with the car, which is important. I really feel confident. I worked well with the engineers.”
Filippi and series championship points leader Helio Castroneves were the biggest movers in the 90-lap Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, advancing eight positions relative to the starting spots. A brief drive through the grass in Turn 12 during qualifications, which brought out the red flag and dismissed Filippi’s best two lap times, relegated him to 24th on the grid.
Throughout the 90-lap race on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course, he was steady.
“I’m pleased with the weekend; the good thing is we were really fast all weekend and in qualifying I made a mistake that is still hurting a lot,” he said. “At the same time, we had a good performance. I can try to put that mistake behind me. That’s why the team is giving me another chance, which is giving me a lot of confidence and motivation.
“The tough thing is Baltimore is a street circuit. I watched the race again on YouTube and I’m looking at data and want to get there as ready as I can to perform. It’s pretty bumpy but in Europe I had some street course experience so I hope it will help.”
Fans can peek in on the Barracuda Racing garage through live streaming at www.viaas.com.