Bobby Rahal remains optimistic that the Rahal Letterman Lanigan team can do a deal to run GP2 veteran Luca Filippi in IndyCar this year, despite signing Michel Jourdain Jr. to drive its second car in the Indy 500.
Filippi had been unveiled as the team's second driver earlier in the season and was originally scheduled to make his debut in Indianapolis next month before the Jourdain deal was announced, but Rahal said that the Italian remains part of his plans.
"We're continuing to work toward Luca being part of the team," he said "I received a call today that leads me to believe that that's going to be soon. Whether that's going to be in time for Indy, I can't tell you at this stage.
"But it looks like we're making some progress there. I know he is as anxious to get going as we are, so we'll have to wait and see. But I anticipate that he'll be there – if not at Indy, then definitely afterward."
Rahal did not rule out running a third car for Filippi, but admitted that it would be difficult to make all the necessary arrangements in time for the race.
"We have a capacity to [run three cars], but obviously with each passing day that becomes more and more difficult," he said. "Time is not our friend, in this case. But for me, the biggest thing to get Luca in with the team for whichever race, and then work towards the future. We anticipate and hope that Luca will be part of the team for quite some time."