Baltimore Grand Prix – Streets of Baltimore, Maryland
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, September 3, 2011
TELEMUNDO DRIVER SERVIA TO START 16TH IN THE BALTIMORE GRAND PRIX; SPROTT DRIVER HINCHCLIFFE TO START 17TH
POLE: Will Power 1:20.2447 / 91.520 mph (time set in Round 3)
16th: Oriol Servia 1:21.9856 / 89.577 mph (Round 1, Group 2)
17th: James Hinchcliffe 1:21.7882 / 89.793 mph (Round 1, Group 1)
Oriol Servia, No. 2 Telemundo Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "I'm really upset because we made some changes and the Telemundo car felt good in qualifying. I just knew I had to push early and it was my second lap and I touched the wall in Turn 12. The tires were still a little cold and I just tried to push too soon. Then we changed the tire, went back out and a yellow came out so I only got one lap time after it went green. On top of that I also got confused on my splits and I thought I was in (the top-six) with three corners to go. Its not like I took it easy (after that) but I didn't want to take too much risk but we ended up only a tenth-and-a half (of a second) off. I'm really upset with myself. The car felt good. Its tough to pass here and this didn't make our race any easier. The car felt good and I think the pit windows are big enough, and there is going to be plenty of yellows so we have to be active and decide what to do with pit strategy soon. But the team is pretty good at that so I am confident."
FAST FACTS: Will be his be his first race here...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 327.
James Hinchcliffe, No. 06 Sprott Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "It was pretty embarrassing to be honest. The struggle is, I've got no real reason why we aren't starting higher. It's not that we got the setup completely wrong and missed the balance. Its not that I was making a lot of mistakes, the speed just wasn't there. It's kind of mystifying. We ran a tenth slower than we did in practice and we had red tires. There is not a whole lot to say. It's not what we expected, it's not what we wanted. Frankly its not what we deserved. We should have been better than that. It's one of those crazy things in racing where it just doesn't go your way. We will have a deep look at it and see what we can find. We certainly put ourselves in position for a long afternoon tomorrow."
FAST FACTS: This will be his first race here...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 14th with a total of 243 points and is only three behind Rookie of the Year leader Hildebrand (246) after 13 of 14 events so far this season (did not compete in St. Pete).
TUNE-IN... Qualifying will be televised at 6 p.m. EDT tonight while the race will be broadcast live on Sunday, September 4th at 2:00 p.m. EDT – both on Versus. The radio broadcast also will be carried on www.indycar.com As always, fans can follow the action from every on-track session via the official website of the IZOD IndyCar Series, www.indycar.com