Juri Vips set to make a return to racing a year after controversy

Juri Vips set to make a return to racing a year after controversy

Ex-Red Bull junior driver Juri Vips is reported to be eyeing a return to professional racing later this year, possibly in an IndyCar race.

Juri Vips who is a former Red Bull academy and test driver, is scheduled to race on the IndyCar road course with the Rahal Letterman Lanigan team, and his comeback to racing may be phenomenal.

The former Formula 2 driver was fired by Red Bull last summer after he was caught on camera using a racial epithet while streaming a game session. He immediately issued an “unreserved apology” for his behavior.

With the exception of a few closed test sessions this season with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the 23-year-old has been mainly absent from the racing world since his departure from Red Bull.

However Vips could be returning to the track in style this September given that he has his IndyCar debut scheduled for one of the next races at Laguna Seca or Portland.

According to insider and IndyCar journalist Marshall Pruett, British driver Jack Harvey’s tenure with the Hy-Vee Honda appears to be coming to an end due to a streak of poor performances when compared to teammates Graham Rahal and Christian Lundgaard.

Conor Daly, an oval specialist who was fired by Ed Carpenter Racing earlier this summer, will fill in for Harvey at the upcoming race in Illinois before Toby Sowery and Vips alternate filling in at the two remaining races.

Pruett mentioned the following people as potential Harvey replacements on The Week In IndyCar podcast, along with oval expert Conor Daly.

“I have also heard Toby Sowery’s name [touted],” Pruett explained, speaking on the latest episode of The Week In IndyCar podcast. “He’s tested with the team. Young British kid, [he has a] lot of talent but hasn’t had a lot of opportunity of late, just lacking in the funding, but tested for the team [and] I think impressed them.

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“Have heard he’ll be in the car for one of the two road races to close the year and Juri Vips, who has tested for them a couple of times, might be in for the other one.”

Vips’ return to racing has generated a great deal of discussion. The Estonian star was streaming Call of Duty gameplay alongside Red Bull junior racer Liam Lawson when he uttered racial and homophobic remarks.

After the incident, Vips, who had been racing with Hitech Grand Prix at the very top of the Formula 2 grid, released a statement.

“I wish to unreservedly apologise for the offensive language used during a live gaming stream earlier today,” Vips said.

“This language is entirely unacceptable and does not portray the values and principles that I hold. I deeply regret my actions and this is not the example I wish to set.

“I will cooperate with the investigation fully.”

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