95th Indianapolis 500 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
NOTES AND QUOTES - Friday, May 20, 2011
TELEMUNDO DRIVER SERVIA NINTH ON "FAST FRIDAY" FOR INDY 500 AND SPROTT DRIVER HINCHCLIFFE 16TH; BOTH LOOKING FORWARD TO POLE DAY
1) Helio Castroneves 117 laps 228.611 mph
9) Oriol Servia 76 laps 227.580 mph
16) James Hinchcliffe 62 laps 226.847 mph
Oriol Servia, No. 2 Telemundo Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "The Telemundo team definitely made progress today and were able to trim the car. There was a question mark on how the car was going to feel when it was hot like it was. I'm not going to lie we had to work at it because we had not had these temperatures all week. The car was great in cold temperatures but not as much in hot but by the end of the day it was really good, really nice. I got a little bit of a tow again but we have two cars, with James, we should be in decent shape tomorrow. We should be in good shape to make the show if everything goes as we want. Top nine, who knows?"
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: "I think the Sprott team made a lot of good gains today. When we first went out the temperatures were obviously a lot hotter than they had been in all the running we had done. As a result of that the car was quite lively this morning. We had a couple of runs where we had a very loose race car but that's all part of the Indy education and learning curve; having some proper loose runs and learning how to deal with those. We came in and made a series of changes and every single one of them was pointing the car in a better direction. And at the end there we went out around 4 o'clock and made a couple of new tire runs still not in full qualifying trim and set some very competitive times in very clean air. We're very happy with the gains we made, not only overnight from yesterday but also during the day. We're now just looking forward to seeing what tomorrow brings. We parked it a bit early because we had no interest in competing in the "tow Olympics" and going for those gigantic laps. We were focused on running by ourselves today. We're looking forward to qualifying. Hopefully we can be a first day qualifier and be able to breathe a little bit easier on Sunday.
"The four lap qualifying format is obviously something new for me on ovals because in Indy Lights it was only a two lap average. In these cars, especially here – although I haven't qualified on any other oval in these cars -- the car changes a lot over four laps. Inside the car we have a lot of tools that we can use to tune the car so, for me part of today was getting a feel for the car over the course of four laps and what adjustments I can make to fix a problem. That was a good experience for me to have. I learned a lot but I'm certainly not at the level of these experienced guys who know almost before they get to the corner what they're going to need to do and can adjust the car two or three times a lap. We're chipping away at it bit by bit so I'm looking forward to making that first attempt."
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).