Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma – Infineon Raceway
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, August 26, 2011
TELEMUNDO DRIVER SERVIA NINTH FASTEST IN PRACTICE FOR THE INDY GRAND PRIX OF SONOMA; SPROTT DRIVER HINCHCLIFFE 11TH
1st: Dario Franchitti 1:19.4269 / 104.383 mph
9th: Oriol Servia 1:20.3585 / 103.173 mph
11th: James Hinchcliffe 1:20.4232 / 103.090 mph
Oriol Servia, No. 2 Telemundo Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "The Telemundo car was very similar to how it was last week at the test here. It was a typical first session; the track was a little dirty but the car felt pretty similar. I think we are a little better than the time sheets show though. I'm sure everyone will say they couldn't put it (lap time) together but I literally couldn't. I'm not totally unhappy with today and I don't think we need to change the car. I think we will be in good shape."
FAST FACTS: Will be his be his third race here. He started 15th and finished 8th here in 2008 with KV. A broken fuel pump in the only pre-qualifying practice with NHR at Sonoma in 2009 led to a 17th place start but he stretched his fuel longer than many and finished sixth after an exciting late race duel with Justin Wilson, whom he held off despite the Brit being on the faster red "alternate" Firestone's while he was on the standard tire...Servia, a native of Catalonia, Spain, has made 28 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 season are 2nd place – both in New Hampshire...Is FOURTH in series point standings with 308.
James Hinchcliffe, No. 06 Sprott Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "This is a track I have always enjoyed in everything I have driven here. It was cool to get a couple of laps in the big car here but the session was a little more eventful than we would have liked given that its race weekend. We had a couple of little things that if I could describe to you I would. Its not that I'm hiding anything; we just really don't know what was going on with the car. We're going to have a good look at it and talk to Oriol a little bit more and see what he felt in the car but I have a feeling we're going to have some work to do tonight and, hopefully, a smoother day tomorrow."
FAST FACTS: This will be his FIRST race in an Indy car here and FIFTH overall at the track. He qualified fourth and finished sixth in the 2009 Firestone Indy Lights (FIL) race here. In 2010 he started and finish third in the FIL event. He competed in the Star Mazda series here in 2005 and earned his first series pole, podium and win in the double-header event ...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 16th with a total of 217 points and is 17 behind Rookie of the Year leader Hildebrand (234) after 12 of 13 events so far this season (did not compete in St. Pete).
NEWMAN/HAAS RACING AT INFINEON RACEWAY: This will be the fourth race for the team here. Justin Wilson (2008), Graham Rahal (2008-2010), Oriol Servia (2009) and Hideki Mutoh (2010) have competed for the team in previous races here. Servia returns to the track with the team for the first time since 2009 and James Hinchcliffe will make his first start with the team here. The team's highest previous start here is sixth by Rahal and their highest finish is sixth by Oriol Servia – both in 2009.
THE BUSINESS OF SPEED... Phoenicia Sport & Entertainment, the marketing/sponsorship company working on behalf of Newman/Haas Racing, hosted their third and final 2011 edition of their industry successful, "Business of Speed Seminar - IndyCar Upfront mini-conferences" yesterday afternoon at the prestigious Fairmont San Francisco Hotel, in downtown San Francisco, Calif. The speakers included: Speedway Motorsports (SMI) Vice President of National Sales & Marketing, Michael Burch; IndyCar Vice President of Marketing, Greg Grunning; NHR General Manager, Brian Lisles and Phoenicia Sport & Entertainment Founder & CEO, Chris Lencheski. The event is designed to increase the awareness to advertising agencies, companies and qualified individuals about the business side of the IZOD IndyCar Series, Track Promoters and Team Commercial Sponsorships - showing brands that are currently utilizing the sport and the various business-to-business opportunities that exist within the Series, Tracks and Teams. Each speaker discussed their expertise and involvement in motorsports, the branding and the activation within the sport, as well as the possibilities for new brands looking to participate at various financial entry points. The event came to a conclusion with a spirited panel discussion and question and answer session dictated by those in attendance. This is the third such event this year with Toronto and Boston events proving successful, the San Francisco event was well attended and provided for dynamic introductions for all participating companies and individuals.
TUNE-IN... Qualifying will be televised at 6 p.m. EDT on Saturday while the race will be broadcast live on Sunday, August 28th at 4:00 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