IZOD IndyCar World Championship – Las Vegas Motor Speedway
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – Thursday, October 13, 2011
TELEMUNDO DRIVER SERVIA SECOND FAST IN PRACTICE FOR THE IZOD INDYCAR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS; SPROTT DRIVER HINCHCLIFFE 15TH
1st: Danica Patrick 24.7349 / 224.719 mph
2nd: Oriol Servia 24.8114 / 224.026 mph
15th: James Hinchcliffe 25.0156 / 222.197 mph
Oriol Servia, No. 2 Telemundo Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "It's great to be back in Las Vegas. The last time we ran at this track, the team finished 1-2 so we're really looking forward to that again. The track felt great and so did the Telemundo car; we finished P2 (second fast) in the session. We all knows it doesn't mean that much because it's only the first session but it's definitely better to be up there than not. The race will be exciting. It will feel like playing Russian Roulette."
FAST FACTS: Will be his third race here and second with NHR. In 2005, he started second, led six laps and finished second to teammate Bourdais to bring NHR a 1-2 finish (lost by less than a few feet). In 2004 he started 18th, led four laps and finished 12th with Dale Coyne Racing... Servia, a native of Catalonia, Spain, has made 31 starts for NHR which include his first Indy car win (Montreal 2005) and pole (Surfers Paradise, Australia 2005) as well as a total of nine 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... Is FOURTH in series point standings with 425.
James Hinchcliffe, No. 06 Sprott Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "It's going to be one hell of a race. That's probably the most exciting practice session I have ever been in. The track is awesome. Actually, maybe its not awesome because it leaves us so much grip and so much freedom to put the cars where we want that we are giving each other much less margins out there. With Kentucky being so bumpy the cars move around a lot more so you didn't see that as much. It's going to be a show. I think qualifying is going to be a little more important because the further back you get, the more manic its going to get. Hopefully we can start in the top-10 and work our way forward in the race.
(On Wheldon's possibility of winning:) "With these 1.5 mile tracks, you just never know. Starting at the back, I think, it could be on pure pace that he could get up there because obviously he's very good at 1.5 mile ovals. And it could be on something like fuel strategy. Literally with the way this field is and the way this track runs and the way these races tend to go, there is not a single car on this grid that doesn't actually have some shot of winning this race."
FAST FACTS: This will be his first race in an Indy car here. His highest oval start of the season is third in Kentucky and his highest finish is fourth in New Hampshire... 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 12th with a total of 302 points and is six points ahead of Hildebrand (296) for Sunoco Rookie of the Year despite missing the season-opener (missed St. Pete).
NHR IN LAS VEGAS: Newman/Haas Racing has earned THREE wins (Bourdais 2004-2005, Mario Andretti 1983), ONE pole (Bourdais 2005) and SIX podium finishes (2nd – Servia 2005, Junqueira 2004, Ma. Andretti 1984) in five races in Las Vegas and finished 2nd in one of the two races they didn't win. The team most recently competed on a temporary street course in downtown Las Vegas in 2007, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2004 & 2005 and on a temporary road course around Caesars Palace in 1983-1984.
Tune In... The race will be broadcast live on ABC on Sunday, October 16 at 3:00 p.m. ET. 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.