Fittipaldi “up to speed” for IndyCar debut

Pietro Fittipaldi, who will make his IndyCar race debut at Phoenix’s ISM Raceway this weekend, says he’s “excited” at the prospect because he believes he and Dale Coyne Racing are well prepared. 

Fittipaldi “up to speed” for IndyCar debut
Pietro Fittipaldi, Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda
Pietro Fittipaldi, Dale Coyne Racing Honda
Pietro Fittipaldi, Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda
Pietro Fittipaldi, Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda
Pietro Fittipaldi, Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda
Pietro Fittipaldi, Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda
Pietro Fittipaldi, Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda

The first oval race of the IndyCar season is not only Fittipaldi’s first open-wheel oval race but his IndyCar debut. The grandson of Emerson Fittipaldi – who won the Phoenix Indy car race in 1994 – is this year sharing the #19 Dale Coyne Racing-Honda with Indy Lights graduate Zachary Claman De Melo, who raced in IndyCar’s season-opener at St. Pete.

But Fittipaldi says the progress made by himself and DCR in February’s preseason open test have made him optimistic about his prospects in Saturday night’s race around the 1.022-mile oval near Phoenix.

“I’m really excited, it’s going to be my first IndyCar race and I’m really looking forward to it,” said the reigning World Series 3.5 V8 champion. “We tested at Phoenix earlier this year and it went well. I learned the track and we did several race stints.

“The races are a lot longer than what I’m used to, so that is going to be new for me. It’s also going to be my first oval race in six years. I used to race ovals with late models but this is going to be my first real open-wheel oval event, so I’m really excited. 

“We’ve done a good job in testing and developing the #19 Paysafe car,” he continued. “I’ve gotten up to speed with the car and with how things work like pit stops and fuel saving and I feel good heading into the weekend.”

Despite this optimism, the 21-year-old Brazilian is making no bold predictions about the result.

“Obviously as a racing driver you want to win every race, but IndyCar is an extremely competitive series and it’s going to be my first race on an oval with the Indy car and I’m a rookie.

“So I’m going to try and do as many laps as I can, learn as much as I can and at the end of the day, I want to try and deliver the best result for the team. That’s the most important part.”

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