HINCHCLIFFE AND SERVIA WERE FIFTH AND 14TH FASTEST OVERALL ON DAY 1 OF THE IZOD INDYCAR SERIES OPEN TEST AT BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK
Oriol Servia, No. 02 Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The track is even more fun than it looks on the computer. I really enjoy it; a lot more than I thought I would. We made some big changes with the car that went towards suiting me. I was very comfortable with the setup of the car but more than anything it’s a track with a lot of technical, very fast corners where you need confidence and it just took me some time to get that confidence. I still have quite a bit to go but I felt, from lunchtime to the afternoon, a lot more comfortable. I’m starting to feel how I should. In the morning I was still too rusty. I am very happy with the progress in the afternoon though.”
· FAST FACTS: Servia, a native of Catalonia, Spain, has made 15 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, 11 top-five and 13 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.
James Hinchcliffe, No. 06 Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Driving an Indy car around Barber is fantastic! It was my first time to drive an Indy car on a proper road circuit so it really gave me a chance to stretch the legs of the Indy car a little bit, especially on the fast corners. It’s an incredible machine; it’s got a lot of downforce and it’s really fun to try to explore the limits of the car. This morning we had a solid car. I think half of the field put new tires on in the morning and we were one of them. Not a lot of guys in the top-10 did so it put us in the top, a little higher than maybe we should have been. The car was really good again this afternoon. I had a little bit of a spin which forced us to put our new tires on a little earlier in the day which was not the best time of the day to do that and we ran an all right time, a time good enough for P7. But what was incredible was that we made a really good change later and matched it on tires that were about 15 laps old. Doing that on my first day at this track in an Indy car with everybody here is something to be really happy about. We’ll just build on that tomorrow.”
· FAST FACTS: Toronto native James 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. Hinchcliffe progressed through the ranks of the Rotax (2002), F2000 (2003), Formula BMW (2004), Star Mazda (2005), and Atlantic series (2006-2008) before joining the Firestone Indy Lights series in 2009. He also competed in a season of A1GP competition (2007)…He tested with NHR for two days at Sebring in December and another two days in January. It was his first time in an Indy car.
-source: newman/haas racing