Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach – Streets of Long Beach, Calif.
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, April 16, 2011
TELEMUNDO DRIVER SERVIA QUALIFIED FOURTH FOR THE TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH; SPROTT DRIVER HINCHCLIFFE TO START 11TH AS HIGHEST QUALIFIED ROOKIE
POLE: Will Power 1:09.0649 102.582 mph (Round 3)
4th: Oriol Servia 1:09.6828 101.672 mph (Round 3)
11th: James Hinchcliffe 1:09.8122 101.484 mph (Round 2)
Oriol Servia, No. 2 Telemundo Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "We put new tires on the car this morning and I tried to push it a bit too early, too soon and crashed but the mechanics repaired the car and, as always has been the case at Newman/Haas, I had no doubt in my mind that the car was going to be perfect and it was. It was a great qualifying effort, not only for us but for the whole Indy car paddock. It's great to add a little bit of Telemundo blue to the front instead of all those red cars that we've been seeing for a few years. I'm very happy to be starting in the second row. We started in the third row last week and second row this week. We are definitely getting closer to the front where we want to be and where this team has always been. Newman/Haas is the winningest team at this track and I finished second in 2007 so if together we can just improve a little bit, we can get to the top."
FAST FACTS: Will be his TENTH race here and FIRST with NHR at this track. His best finishes here are second in 2007 with Forsythe and fifth in 2008 with KV Racing. In 9 events, he has two top-five, three top-10 (including sixth in his rookie debut here in 2000) and eight top-15 finishes...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 17 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 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 ranked 6th in series points with a total of 52 after two events.
James Hinchcliffe, No. 06 Sprott Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "Maybe we spoiled ourselves a little last week by getting inside the top-10. When I think of the fact that it’s my first time in an Indy car on a street course and the troubles we had yesterday, I guess we can’t be too upset but I think we had more in the Sprott car. We set a really good time in Round 1 and tried to make a change to make the car better in Round 2 and it made it a little worse and still had the same lap time so I think if we had the same balance with the second set of red Firestone's and found more time in myself, the car was quite good as Oriol proved. Congrats to him on a second row start; I think that’s great. We did a reasonable job and being the top rookie in qualifying is nothing to frown upon but we definitely would have liked to be in the top-10. The speed was there and we just didn’t put it together today. If you get a little bit of traffic from guys just trying to find a gap, it throws off the rhythm a bit. It’s a long race tomorrow and we just have to get through those restarts and be there at the end."
FAST FACTS: Won from pole here in last year's Firestone Indy Lights race for Sam Schmidt Motorsports. Competed in Atlantic Series races here in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and in the Firestone Indy Lights Series here in 2009 and 2010. In 2009 he started second and finished third. In 2008 he started and finished 10th here and in 2007 he qualified 10th and finished seventh. Made his Atlantic series debut at the track in 2006 where his finished third for Forsythe Championship Racing. He has an average 4.8 finishing position here...Barber Motorsports Park (BMP) was the only track James has driven an Indy car on to date that he will race on this season. The team ran James in two, two-day tests at Sebring International Raceway prior to bringing him to BMP for the open test March 14-15. He set the fifth fastest time overall on Monday (3-14) and the seventh fastest (3-15) overall time over two days at the IICS open test at Barber 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 wins in Long Beach, Edmonton and Chicagoland and poles in St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Watkins Glen and Edmonton. In total he earned eight podium finishes in 13 races....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...Is ranked 27th with 12 points after one (of two) events.
NEWMAN/HAAS RACING AT LONG BEACH: The team has won more races at Long Beach than any other and will make their 28th consecutive appearance here. In total, NHR has earned SIX WINS, 11 POLES and 14 PODIUMS at this event. (WINS by Bourdais 2007, 2006, 2005 & Mario Andretti 1987, 1985, 1984; 2nd place finishes by Junqueira 2004, Cristiano da Matta 2001, Nigel Mansell 1994, Michael Andretti 1989; 3rd place finishes by Junqueira 2005 & 2003, Bourdais 2004, Mansell 1993.) (POLES by Wilson 2008, Bourdais 2006-2007, Junqueira 2004, Mi. Andretti 1995, Mansell 1993, Mi. Andretti 1992, Mi. Andretti 1991, Ma. Andretti 1987, Ma. Andretti 1985, and Ma. Andretti 1984.)
NEXT UP: The 85-lap Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be televised live on Versus at 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday. Live timing & scoring of every session can be seen free of charge on www.indycar.com