95th Indianapolis 500 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
NOTES AND QUOTES - Monday, May 16, 2011
TELEMUNDO DRIVER SERVIA FIFTH FAST IN PRACTICE FOR INDY 500; SPROTT DRIVER HINCHCLIFFE 23RD FAST AND THIRD OF ROOKIES
1) Alex Tagliani 17 laps 225.878 mph
5) Oriol Servia 55 laps 224.903 mph
23) James Hinchcliffe 60 laps 222.972 mph
Oriol Servia, No. 2 Telemundo Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "The day went well for the Telemundo team. It was very cold; colder than we think it will be for race day. We had a good run, we went through our test plan and we ran well. I got my fast lap with a tow so the time isn't very representative but, I have to say, tow or no tow, downforce or no downforce, it's the first time I am in the top-five at the end of the day in Indy so it feels good. I'm happy with the Telemundo car so far. We're still not where we want to be but it is really the first test day we have had to try new things. We are happy with where we are, progress-wise."
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: "Today the focus was on trying to run more laps in traffic and the Sprott team managed to accomplish that. It was sort of tough to find guys out there so we had to do a little collaboration and planning with a few different guys and did find some guys out there. I definitely got some good running in with Oriol. We staged some laps in front of each other, and behind each other and it was good; that's a big thing for me to learn. You only have to do four laps to qualify but you have to do 200 in the race with a lot of other cars around you. I think we got a lot accomplished and certainly, from just my perspective, I learned a lot and gained some valuable experience. I think we will carry on with this for the next couple of days and then closer to qualifying, look more into the qualifying setup. The car felt great in traffic. It was a lot more fun running out there with other guys than just pounding around by yourself. Again, it's sort of similar to the Lights car. I think the experience in the Lights car was certainly very valuable but there is no doubt that the racing is a lot different once you're going 35 mph faster. It will be an interesting race, there's no doubt. I just look forward to getting more laps under my belt and over the week and running in more packs, and bigger packs."
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).