95th Indianapolis 500 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
NOTES AND QUOTES - Tuesday, May 18, 2011
RAIN CANCELLED ANOTHER DAY OF PRACTICE AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY; TELEMUNDO DRIVER SERVIA AND SPROTT DRIVER HINCHCLIFFE HOPING FOR TRACK TIME
Oriol Servia, No. 2 Telemundo Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "The day ended up being a lot more fun than the usual rainy day with all the drivers doing their version of the plank and sending photos on Twitter. We were close to getting on track a couple of times but unfortunately the weather didn't allow us to but it seems that the forecast is getting better from tomorrow-on. Hopefully we can get serious and get to work Thursday. The day will start with the pit stop time trials. I'm very excited for the opportunity to win one of the three open spots for the pit stop contest. We have an excellent crew that has great pit stops so I'm looking forward to shining in the first competition of the month."
FAST FACTS: Will be his third Indy 500 and first with NHR. Ran as high as eighth and finished 11th in 2008 with KV Racing after he qualified 25th. Was running 10th in the 2009 race with Rahal Letterman Racing when a fuel pressure problem forced him to retire after 98/200 laps. Qualified 25th and retired in 26th. First came to NHR as the replacement driver for Junqueira who suffered a season-ending injury in the 2005 Indy 500...Previous race on an oval was 2009 Motegi event for NHR where he finished fourth...Servia tested with the team in Sebring for two days in December 2010. Prior to that his previous time behind the wheel of an Indy car was also with NHR at the 2009 race in Japan where he finished fourth. He also tested in the open test at Barber Motorsports Park in March where he was fifth fastest...Servia, a native of Catalonia, Spain, has made 18 starts for NHR which include his first Indy car win (Montreal 2005) and pole (Surfers Paradise, Australia 2005) as well as a total of seven top-three, 12 top-five and 14 top-10 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... Is THIRD in series point standings with 110 and is one of only three drivers to finish in the top-10 in each race so far (also Will Power and Dario Franchitti).
James Hinchcliffe, No. 06 Sprott Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "The rain happens every single year but if you look at how many practice days we get versus how many rain days we have had, it's getting there. We've actually gone out to pit lane a couple of times but it starts raining again which makes it harder to handle I think. It's really important to get laps in because this is a super-tough race track. There are four corners here and every one of them is different. And the track is so sensitive to wind, temperature and everything so the guys with experience here really have a leg up on us. We knew what the weather was going to be like; we knew it was sort of iffy all week when the track was dry so we made sure to run as much as we could. We have more laps so far this month than anybody so we're a little bit more comfortable. I know that Newman/Haas always brings really good cars to the Speedway so I'm not too worried about how the car is going to be its just me getting more experience on track and running in traffic, doing some qualifying trim runs. We need to make sure we get the Sprott car in the show and there are 41 cars trying for 33 spots so Saturday is going to be an important day. Everyone just wants to get out there and drive; we're not in the business of sitting around garages and thinking up ways to burn time."
FAST FACTS: The Indy 500 will mark his first time to compete on an oval in an Indy car...Earned a season-high start of eighth place in his debut at Barber and a season-high finish of fourth in Long Beach to date...He tested with NHR for two days at Sebring in December and another two days in January before testing at Barber Motorsports Park March 14-15 where he set the seventh fastest time overall at the test as well as temporarily held the fastest time on Tuesday...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... Is ranked 19th with a total of 66 points and is only three behind Rookie of the Year leader Hildebrand (69) after three of four events so far this season.
1 POLE (1987) & TWO SECONDS AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY (IMS) FOR NHR: The 2011 entry will mark the 19th year for the team in the event and the sixth since 1995. Prior to 2011, the team prepared a total of 28 entries for drivers such as Mario and Michael Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Paul Tracy, Bruno Junqueira, Sebastien Bourdais, Justin Wilson, Graham Rahal, Robert Doornbos and Hideki Mutoh. Oriol Servia and James Hinchcliffe compete for the team in 2011 and will bring the total to 30. NHR's highest finish in the Indy 500 is second place with Mario Andretti in 1985 and Michael Andretti in 1991 although team drivers have led many laps here. Mario Andretti also brought the team its highest start in the event when he won the pole position in 1987. NHR's 2004 entry of Junqueira marked the first time for the team to compete here since 1995 and they returned in 2005 with Junqueira and IMS rookie Bourdais. In 2008 they ran Wilson and Rahal here during a transition season in the series and ran Rahal and Robert Doornbos in 2009. They have earned Rookie of the Year once, with Mansell in 1993 when he finished third.
5 WINS & 6 POLES IN 500-MILE RACES: The team has won five 500-mile races. The most recent 500-mile wins came in 2000 (Christian Fittipaldi, $1 million purse) and 2001 (Cristiano da Matta, $1 million purse) at California Speedway. The team also won the 500-mile events at Michigan International Speedway in 1984 (Mario Andretti), 1989 (Michael Andretti) and in 1993 (Mansell). The team won poles for 500-mile races at Indianapolis (1987; Mario Andretti), Michigan (1984 – Mario Andretti, 1992 – Mario Andretti, 1993 – Mario Andretti, 1994 – Mansell) and Pocono (1987 – Mario Andretti).