95th Indianapolis 500 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
NOTES AND QUOTES - Thursday, May 19, 2011
TELEMUNDO DRIVER SERVIA SEVENTH FAST IN PRACTICE FOR INDY 500; SPROTT DRIVER HINCHCLIFFE 30TH AND MAKING PROGRESS
1) Will Power 83 laps 227.788 mph
7) Oriol Servia 66 laps 226.471 mph
30) James Hinchcliffe 77 laps 224.333 mph
Oriol Servia, No. 2 Telemundo Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "I ran a lot of laps in the Telemundo car today; I think I only got out of the car once today. It was fun to be able to go through many of the test items that we planned and the car feels good; it keeps felling better. Of all the things we tried there was only one that didn't really improve the car so we gained a lot of valuable information today. Tomorrow is going to get fun out there when everyone is super-trimmed. I have to say that some cars are impressively fast. I'm not sure where we stand but Friday we will have a better idea and Saturday we will have the real one. I am very happy with how the whole team has been sticking to our plan. It's easy to get caught up out there when everybody starts to go fast. We had a good lap with a little bit of a tow but everybody kind of got tows. I feel good about where we stand right now."
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: "We got a lot of work done today. We had made a change to the Sprott car back on Monday night that we have been waiting three days to try. It was good that we did it but unfortunately it wasn't a step forward and it took quite a lot of downtime to go back on it and we missed a big chunk of the afternoon. But we still got a good number of laps in and really started to trim the car a bit more. We were focusing on running by ourselves and not really trying to compete in the 'tow Olympics' out there so I don't think 30th on the time charts is very representative of where we are speed-wise but there is always time in it, and always more speed to find. We're going to keep chipping away at it. Tomorrow we will focus on qualifying runs and we will see where we are at the end of the day."
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).