Vips takes over the #30 Honda which had been steered by Jack Harvey until he was dropped ahead of the just-completed Gateway race.
Conor Daly, himself axed by Ed Carpenter Racing earlier in the year, filled the breach at the St Louis oval and finished just outside the top half of the field in 16th.
It will not be the first time that Vips has driven an RLLR car, however, having tested at Sebring last October and then at Barber in March, on top of simulator work during this season.
Co-owner Bobby Rahal said, “I'm very pleased for the team to enter Juri in the Portland and Laguna Seca races.
“Clearly, he was the lead Red Bull Junior driver a few years ago and exhibited a lot of talent, which we saw during the two tests he ran with us so we're looking forward to seeing what he can do on a race weekend.”
The Estonian remarked, “I'm super happy to get the opportunity with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and very thankful to Bobby, Mike [Lanigan] and everyone at the team.
“I haven't been driving all year so the anticipation for this opportunity has been immense but I'm really looking forward to starting again.
“We tested together at the end of 2022 in Sebring and it seemed like we just gelled. I got along with everyone and I really like the atmosphere at the team.
“Bobby's also one to give second chances and I'm extremely grateful that he is giving me one and I really hope to bring a good result for him, Mike and the whole team.”
Vips' ‘second chance' is presumably a reference to the controversy he caused with a racial slur during the streaming of a video game in mid-2022.
Now 23 years of age, he has identified his goal as helping Car #30 retain its spot in the top 22 in terms of entrant points in order to earn the ‘Leaders Circle' payment of around USD 1 million for the team.
Car #30 is presently tied on points with Meyer Shank Racing's #60 Honda, but the latter holds 22nd on a countback.
“I hope I can prove myself and most importantly get them into the Winners Circle [Leaders Circle], which is always my main mission,” explained Vips.
“I feel ready for these races, I think the tracks suit my experience and driving style and the car as well.
“I've already integrated myself with the team this year, doing some work for them on the simulator so I already know the people and feel very comfortable with everyone which is a big benefit for me as well.”
The Portland event takes place this weekend (September 1-3, local time), and that of Laguna Seca a week later.