Edmonton Indy – City Centre Airport, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, July 22, 2011
RAIN AND STANDING WATER FORCED CANCELLATION OF PRACTICE FOR THE EDMONTON INDY; SERVIA AND HINCHCLIFFE COMMENT ON THE ADDITIONAL CHALLENGES THIS POSES
Oriol Servia, No. 2 Telemundo Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "The drivers still don't know the track and we were going to find out where to brake and the speeds to carry into the corners today but in the end I think it is a bigger deal for the engineers that need to guess the right setup. Especially if it is still wet in the morning and we go straight to qualifying. They are going to have to guess a lot of things from ride heights to springs to dampers. It's more in their hands than ours.
ON HOW LONG IT TAKES TO LEARN A TRACK: "I think it is a very relative question. No matter how long you have been driving a course there are always things you can learn. It's more of a matter of you compared to other guys because there are always things to improve upon. Even at the end of a race weekend, after the last lap in the race, there is always something like 'Man, why didn't I drive through that corner like this all weekend?' There are always things you can pick up. But I would say that after five laps you will know the track but learning how to do it the best takes time."
FAST FACTS: Will be his FIFTH Indy car race here and first since 2008. His highest finish here of second place came here in 2005 -- his only other race here with NHR. He started fourth, led two laps and finished second. He was also ranked fourth in series points at Edmonton and went on to finish second for the year. In total he has three, top-five finishes in four races and has finished no lower than sixth. In 2006, he started fifth and finished fourth for PKV. In 2007, he started 13th and finished sixth for Forsythe. In 2008, he started third and finished fifth for KV Racing in the first IndyCar Series event here. He did not compete here in 2009 and 2010...Servia, a native of Catalonia, Spain, has made 23 starts for NHR which include his first Indy car win (Montreal 2005) and pole (Surfers Paradise, Australia 2005) as well as a total of eight 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 232.
James Hinchcliffe, No. 06 Sprott Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "This was obviously not an ideal situation for anyone. I think the people that were hurt the most are the fans. It was really cool to see how many people came out and braved the weather. Huge credit to not only the fans that showed up but I think it also says a lot about Octane and the promotion that this many people knew about it and still wanted to come despite the weather. From my point of view, obviously losing this much track time on a new circuit is a big kick in the pants but everybody is in the same boat. We'll see what Mother Nature has in store for us tomorrow morning. Hopefully we can get some good track time and start working through our program. If we can still get two practices in tomorrow before qualifying I think that is still a decent amount of track time. Its only going to take the drivers 10 laps to learn the track so from there it's just working on setup and tuning the car. Hopefully the Sprott team gets some running in and we can have a good day. "
FAST FACTS: This will be his SIXTH year to race here (eighth race) and FIRST in the headline Indy car here. He has three poles and four podium finishes here including a win. In 2010, he won the Firestone Indy Lights race from pole and led all 50 laps. In his first Indy Lights race here in 2009, he started and finished fourth. He competed in the Atlantic Series events here from 2006-2008. In the 2008 event, he started from pole and finished third in Race 1 and started fourth and finished third in Race 2. In the 2007 event here he started from pole and finished third in Race 1. In Race 2, he started 15 and finished ninth. In 2006, he started eighth and finished 23rd...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 14th with a total of 158 points and is 35 behind Rookie of the Year leader Hildebrand (193) after seven of eight events so far this season (missed St. Pete).
Craig Hampson, Senior Engineer for Newman/Haas Racing and Race Engineer for the No. 06 Sprott entry for James Hinchcliffe: "Right now we do not believe we will be racing in the rain and we believe the rain will stop before qualifying therefore practicing in the rain really isn't going to help us for the weekend. I expect if it rains all day and we were able to get on track, all we would do is go out and do a recognizance lap with the car; make sure it shifts, make sure it doesn't leak and then call it a day. If we get no practice at all in the dry and then qualifying is in the dry it means that your simulations and your initial setup guesses and initial gear selection had better be correct because you get one shot at it.
"Historically we have had good simulation capability in terms of figuring out the layout of the track and the speeds of the corners and then some ways of looking at the data that comes out of the simulations to choose where we start on our setup. One of the limitations is that we only get five sets of rain tires per weekend. We get 10 sets of dry tires and you need all 10 sets of dry tires to get through an entirely dry weekend so if you had a weekend that was completely wet, five sets of tires isn't nearly enough so you end up saving them for the race and saving them for qualifying to be safe. You really don't have enough sets of tires to adequately do practice.
"The track isn't exactly what we expected; we expected it to be bumpier but it has fresh asphalt in a lot of places and they did a really nice job paving that. Generally I would say it is smoother and therefore it will be a little faster. Turn 1 is really narrow. It's a wide straightaway funneling down to a very narrow exit so the double wide restarts and the start and going to be extremely interesting trying to funnel people through there, particularly if someone is coming out of pit lane at the same time because then you are going three wide through there! The other thing is that there are white lines painted around the track, particularly in the Turns 10, 11, 12 area but those white lines are optional. You can drive across them so I think you will see cars take some interesting lines through that sequence and probably some of the corners will be faster than initially anticipated."
NEWMAN/HAAS RACING IN EDMONTON: NHR has 2 WINS, 1 POLE and SIX PODIUMS in six races here from 2005-2010. NHR won the inaugural race here in 2005 when Bourdais drove to victory from a 10th place start. Bourdais won again in 2007 from a second place start and set the fastest race lap. In total, the team has earned TWO wins (Bourdais 2007, 2005), ONE pole (Bourdais 2006) and SIX podium finishes (2nd – Bourdais 2006, Servia 2005; 3rd – Wilson 2008, Rahal 2007).
NEXT UP: Practice and qualifying will take place tomorrow. Live timing & scoring of every session can be seen free of charge on www.indycar.com. The Edmonton Indy will be televised live on Versus at 2:00 p.m. ET Sunday.