Baltimore Grand Prix – Streets of Baltimore, Maryland
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, September 4, 2011
TELEMUNDO DRIVER SERVIA FINISHED SECOND IN THE BALTIMORE GRAND PRIX; SPROTT DRIVER HINCHCLIFFE FINISHED 24TH AFTER BEING COLLECTED IN ACCIDENT
Oriol Servia, No. 2 Telemundo Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "The Orioles' wings were with Oriol today. Nobody has doubts. There's a reason why Newman/Haas Racing has over 100 victories, they just had a tough season last year. Here we are again. We're fourth in points and fighting for the podium every race, and there's more to come. We never gave up. I crashed in qualifying but we never gave up. The car was great and the strategy was even better. Newman/Haas always works hard and we are bringing Telemundo to the podium which is great. I knew if I didn't make any mistakes, the podium was ours. Since we pitted early in the first stop we knew we were kind of committing to that strategy. We were hoping for more yellows but we had just enough fuel."
FAST FACTS: Was his first race here. Qualified 16th and started 14th when two cars (HCN, TK) were sent to the back...Servia, a native of Catalonia, Spain, has made 29 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...Best start and finish of the 2011 season are 2nd place – both in New Hampshire...Is FOURTH in series point standings with 367.
James Hinchcliffe, No. 06 Sprott Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "Unfortunately it was not the best day at the office. We got a reasonable start and had an okay strategy going. We got by some guys in the pit stops and ran a clean first stint. It was amazing that we didn't have yellows right off the bat. I think everybody was happy about that. We picked off a couple of guys, got by Oriol and stayed out of trouble. I think we were running 11th when the caution came out for Scheckter and on the restart I didn't get a particularly good run out of Turn 1 and was more looking at my mirrors about Jakes. I was not even trying to attack, I wasn't trying to get involved and I guess there was a mess with the two Ryan's up in front of us and it just caused a log jam. That corner is so tight that once you are in it there is really no where to go. Luckily we kept the engine running but unfortunately Jakes got in the back of us, after we got in the back of Pantano, and broke the suspension. We were in the pits for a number of laps getting repairs done. We got back out for some laps at the end to just pick up a few places. It's a tough break if you look at the way the race played out for Oriol. We were ahead of Oriol at that point and we might have had a podium in the cards. I'm happy for him. It was still a good performance. We missed something in qualifying but as a team we rebounded pretty well and could have had two good finishes instead of just one. Congrats to him and we will take our pace and momentum and know that we can still do a good job and move on to Motegi. The promoters put on a great event. I'm already looking forward to coming back."
FAST FACTS: This was his first race here. He qualified 17th but started 15th when two cars (HCN, TK) were sent to the back...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 14 of 15 events so far this season (did not compete in St. Pete).
NEXT UP... The series will begin the packing process for Round 15 at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan next week. The race will take place on Sunday, September 17.