ORIOL SERVIA 12TH QUICK IN PRACTICE FOR THE HONDA GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG; TOP SEVENTEEN CARS WITHIN ONE SECOND
Oriol Servia, No. 02 Newman/Haas Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “My engineer Bruno and I were discussing the progress today and determined that it was just like at the Barber test. When we started the day, I wasn’t super happy with the car for the conditions of the track and also I wasn’t happy with how I was driving either. We didn’t panic and in the second session the track came to us and I started to drive better. We were a lot better than the timesheets show and we will try to prove it tomorrow. I am very happy with the progress we made through the day and am looking forward to tomorrow.”
· FAST FACTS: Will be his third race here and first since 2008. Competed in the 2003 Champ Car race here where he started ninth and finished 12th for Visteon/Patrick Racing. Competed here in 2008 for KV Racing where he started and finished seventh…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 set the fifth fastest overall time at the two day INDYCAR open test at Barber on March 14-15, 2010…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.