Indy Japan: The Final – Twin Ring Motegi, Tochigi, Japan
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, September 16, 2011
SPROTT DRIVER HINCHCLIFFE THIRD FAST IN PRACTICE FOR THE INDY JAPAN: THE FINAL; TELEMUNDO DRIVER SERVIA 19TH
1st: Will Power 1:39.4745 / 107.955 mph
3rd: James Hinchcliffe 1:39.8531 / 107.546 mph
19th: Oriol Servia 1:40.8577 / 106.475 mph
Oriol Servia, No. 2 Telemundo Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "The track is smooth. It's a lot more slippery than we thought. Next time I will make sure to play (the Motegi course on) Gran Turismo like James did. Obviously our car is not bad with James running as well as he is. I just need to pick it up a little. As expected, we received a great welcome from the Japanese people. Yesterday was interesting to feel the earthquake but I hope there are no more! The fans are great as usual. I really hope this isn't the last time we come back to race in Japan. My visor went for 50,000 yen which, I think was a high number. It felt good to help raise money for a good cause."
FAST FACTS: Will be his fifth race here, first on the road course and SECOND overall in Japan with NHR. In 2000 he competed in only his third oval race as a rookie in CART's headline series where he started 13th and finished 24th with PPI Motorsports. In 2001 he started 18th and finished 14th with Sigma Autosport. In 2002 he started 20th and finished sixth with PWR Championship Racing. In 2009, the Japan race was one of four in which he ran with NHR. He was third in the late stages of the race but was passed by teammate Graham Rahal and finished fourth...Servia, a native of Catalonia, Spain, has made 30 starts for NHR which include his first Indy car win (Montreal 2005) and pole (Surfers Paradise, Australia 2005) as well as a total of TEN top-three finishes...In 2005, Servia replaced NHR driver Bruno Junqueira, who suffered a season-ending injury at the Indy 500 on May 29, and then went on to finish second to teammate Sebastien Bourdais in the point standings after 11/13 events with the team. Servia returned to NHR in 2009 for four races with a season-best finish of fourth at Twin Ring Motegi...Best start of the 2011 season is 2nd place in New Hampshire and best finish is 2nd place in New Hampshire and Baltimore...Is FOURTH in series point standings with 367.
James Hinchcliffe, No. 06 Sprott Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "Now I can justify to my girlfriend why I was in the basement on Playstation 3 for three days (playing the Motegi course on Gran Turismo). The track is quite cool. You can tell that everything was laid out well here. The place is immaculate and it's the smoothest place we run on all year. The layout is cool with some technical sections and great braking zones. The track is very slippery though. It felt like an out lap every lap because it's so slippery. The big challenge will be to predict what will happen tomorrow. Since there are no support series here with us, the track won't come up to grip as quick as a normal weekend. This weekend will be about hard work and trying to stay ahead of everything. (On jetlag:) Yesterday was pretty rough. I had to force myself to stay up to 9 p.m. but then I managed to sleep 11 hours straight and I feel right as rain."
FAST FACTS: This will be his first race at Twin Ring Motegi and in Japan in general...Toronto native Hinchcliffe, 24, finished second in the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights season standings after three wins and four poles. In total he earned eight podium finishes in 13 races... His highest road/street course start of the season is seventh at Mid-Ohio and highest road/street finish of fourth at Long Beach. Is ranked 16th with a total of 255 points and is only three behind Rookie of the Year leader Hildebrand (258) after 13 of 14 events so far this season (did not compete in St. Pete).
1 WIN, 3 PODIUMS IN 7 MOTEGI EVENTS FOR NHR: In total the team has earned 1 WIN (Mi. Andretti 2000), and 3 PODIUMS (3rd- Rahal 2009, Fittipaldi 1999) here – all on the oval. The team was a contender for the win other times (chart available).
TUNE-IN... The Indy Japan: The Final race will be broadcast live on Saturday, September 17th at 11:30 p.m. EDT – both on Versus. The radio broadcast also will be carried on www.indycar.com As always, fans can follow the action from every on-track session via the official website of the IZOD IndyCar Series, www.indycar.com