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American Alexander Rossi to get home run in U.S. Grand Prix

By Sarah Holt, for CNN
updated 5:31 AM EDT, Fri October 18, 2013
Alexander Rossi is getting ready for a run in front of his home fans in Texas.
Alexander Rossi is getting ready for a run in front of his home fans in Texas.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Alexander Rossi set to drive for Caterham Formula One team at U.S. Grand Prix
  • The Californian will take part in first practice at the Austin circuit
  • Rossi will become the first American to drive in F1 session at the track
  • Scott Speed is the last American to race in F1 back in 2007

(CNN) -- Unfurl the Stars and Stripes. Crank up the Star Spangled banner.

Home fans at next month's United States Grand Prix in Texas will have an American driver to cheer on for the first time.

Californian Alexander Rossi is set to drive in first practice on November 15 for the Caterham Formula One team.

There has not yet been an official announcement from the team but CNN understands the 22-year-old will become the first American driver to take part in a grand prix weekend at the Circuit of the Americas.

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Rossi is the only American racer involved in F1 and the first to hit the track since Scott Speed in 2007.

The track outside Austin was developed and designed as the new home of the U.S. Grand Prix, which returned to the calendar in 2012 after a five year hiatus.

Rossi is Caterham's reserve driver and is currently racing for Caterham Racing in F1's feeder GP2 Series.

At this year's Canadian Grand Prix, Rossi reacquainted himself with an F1 car by competing in first practice.

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Rossi told CNN at last year's inaugural U.S. Grand Prix in Austin: "Americans are very patriotic and they want someone to support.

"In order to entice more fans, and to allow F1 to compete with Nascar and IndyCar, there needs to be an American driver."

Speed was the last American to compete in F1 but it's been six years since he lost his Toro Rosso seat to reigning triple world champion Sebastian Vettel.

The country has produced two F1 world champions in Phil Hill (1961) and Mario Andretti (1978).

Read: Reborn in the USA

The return of the U.S. to the sport's global calendar in 2012 was a much needed boost for F1 in North America's motorsport hierarchy.

An inaugural grand prix on the streets of New Jersey has also been included in 2014's record breaking 22 race calendar.

But the race, scheduled for June 1, has a provisional status which means it could still be dropped from the sport's global tour.

For now, American F1 fans can look forward to seeing a homegrown racer in action at next month's U.S. Grand Prix.

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