CHAMPCAR/CART: Oriol Servia teleconference transcript, part 2

Continued from part 1 Q: Will you be in a third Newman/Haas car at Mexico City then? ORIOL SERVIA: Well, I don't know for sure at all. I don't know the team knows. But PacifiCare has been great supporter of mine since day one. Every...

Continued from part 1

Q: Will you be in a third Newman/Haas car at Mexico City then?

ORIOL SERVIA: Well, I don't know for sure at all. I don't know the team knows. But PacifiCare has been great supporter of mine since day one. Every race I think they are happy and pleased with what I've done so far. I'm very happy to be part of their team. The Newman/Haas crew stay the same. I think it will depend when we get there what's the point situation, where we are. The team I'm sure will decide what's best for all of us.

ERIC MAUK: While this might have been first Oriol's on track victory since '97, he's been consistent through his six-year Champ Car career. Before that, he won the 1999 Dayton Indy Lights championship, had five runner-up finishes that year. In his six years in the Champ Car World Series, he's had podium finishes in four of those six seasons, including his rookie year back in 2000, third in Detroit.

Q: Did you have a chance to speak with your good friend Mark, another Catalonian?

ORIOL SERVIA: Actually, not at all. I'm sure he's busy testing for Ferrari. No, I haven't.

Q: What are some of the activities that you've done now that you've got your first winner's podium that you're surprised comes with the territory of being there?

ORIOL SERVIA: I think probably because was the first one, as I said, the media reaction in Spain has been a little exaggerated. I've run through the battery of my phone every day. It's been a little too much. I don't think is going to be like this after every win, although if that's the pain I have to go through, I have no problem going for it again.

Q: Is there any sort of reward that you might have to remind yourself of this win, like somebody will buy themselves a bike or car? Something special you're going to do to help commemorate your first win?

ORIOL SERVIA: Not really. Haven't really thought about it. Maybe give me a second win. That would be a good gift.

ERIC MAUK: Let's talk a little about Las Vegas. We go to the Las Vegas Speedway, mile-and-a-half oval, last weekend in September. Last year you led a good number of laps there. Ended up finishing a little deeper than the pack that you would like. Talk to us a little bit about what you think about going to the big superspeedway oval.

ORIOL SERVIA: I think just going to Vegas in general is always good. It's good for the series, good for the fans, good for the drivers. It's just a very different race in a very cool city. The event, it's always good fun. Plus for us, we're right there after the first win. I know it's an important race for PacifiCare also. Last year they put a great show, Sebastien and Bruno. I hope this year we can do the same. Maybe we could reverse the order and would be welcome for all of us.

We'll see. Last year unfortunately I had to start last because we missed qualifying. In the first lap, I passed 10 cars. I had fun in that race. I remember it was actually very different to what a Champ Car race usually is. But was kind of exciting. Again, being in Vegas, I think it's welcome for all of us.

ERIC MAUK: Sebastien won the last Vegas event, but he beat Bruno in the PacifiCare car by 66 one-thousandths of a second, just nipped him at the line. The two traded the lead back and forth throughout the last 10 laps pretty much every time coming off turn four. Very exciting race. Oriol will be in that PacifiCare car this year as he just alluded to.

Q: Interesting circumstances with the win that have you this much time off between the win and your next race. Any sort of formal testing plans? What do you expect to do on a professional side between now and Vegas?

ORIOL SERVIA: I have a couple of things going. First, professional, but not really professional. More fun than anything. I'll probably do a prerun for Baja in Mexico, which I'm not sure a hundred percent sure I'm going to race Baja. Just in case, it's always good to be prepared. Then I have a test in the middle of September with the team.

Yeah, for sure, Newman/Haas doesn't stop working. They're going to be working hard to get more wins to make sure the championship goes home and that we are 1-2 in the championship, which is the main goal at this point. I think it's a very realistic goal. Just keep working as usual at Newman/Haas.

Q: Where is that test?

ORIOL SERVIA: It's going to be in Ohio.

Q: Mid-Ohio?

ORIOL SERVIA: I actually -- I believe somewhere in Ohio. I don't know.

Q: One of the other things left on your plate this year is to actually beat Sebastien in qualifying. You've come close on a number of occasions. Montreal, you ran out of fuel on a lap that looked like you were a few 10ths up on him. That would be something that would be a real --

ORIOL SERVIA: -- achievement. It definitely is a challenge, a huge challenge for me, a great achievement I would consider for myself. Again, I keep repeating, I really believe he's the fastest man on earth. I've been very close. San Jose, I think I was only few thousandths off in the second qualifying. I had three laps that although Tracy was pissed off at me because I was in his way, I had cars in my way, too, and I couldn't finish those three laps that I was more than 2/10ths down in the time.

We drivers always say, "If, if, if." As you say, Montreal, if I had not run out of fuel after the last corner. But, you know, I have to do it. It's not going to be an "if" question. I really would like to, but I know it's not going to be an easy thing. It's not my main thing to beat my teammate at all. I just know that if I beat Sebastien, I'll be P1 because he's always P1. You know what I mean? That's the real goal. It's not really just beating Sebastien, it's being up there.

We'll see. I mean, as you say, every race I'm getting closer. I'm working I think better with (Guillame) Rocky (Rocquelin), the engineer, and with getting the best out of the car every time. It's just going to be a question of doing everything right for sure, the setup and the driving and the qualifying run, to beat Sebastien. We're definitely up for the challenge. As I said, focus is to beat competition first and then your teammate.

Q: When you prepare for these superspeedways, what sort of things do you do? Do you enjoy them? Where do they rank relative to the other courses you drive on throughout the season?

ORIOL SERVIA: When we used to Michigan and Fontana, I have to say I did enjoy them. They were long races, very different. You had to play a little bit the strategy. Plus in the race, it wasn't flat all around. It was definitely a challenge. As I said, a different race to all the other races.

I thought they were very interesting to have them in the schedule. Vegas is a little bit -- I think is a little too easy for us to go flat, I have to be honest. It's not the typical I think kind of racing we like to see in a Champ Car. But, you know, we all know Vegas is a great market and I think the series has been trying to have a street race there, as I understand. Maybe that's the process we have to go through. It's just, at the end of the day, another race. You still want to get the 30 points and do a better job than the other teams and drivers. At the end of the day, it's a similar business, similar business.

Q: You mentioned working with Rocky. Pretty much the race unfolded in Montreal the way that he had called it. It was going to be pretty straight out at the beginning. It was the yellow flag that put everything out of order. Can you understand the frustration of Justin Wilson who perhaps could have overtaken Timo if you were successful in your pass or he had pulled over much earlier.

ORIOL SERVIA: Of course. I mean, again, it's one of those things that in a perfect world you would like the penalties to be addressed as quick as possible. But I understand the situation of the officials. It's six laps to go. You don't want to make the wrong call. They probably saw I had one more shot 'push to pass'. Probably they thought, Let's hope he can do it again and arrange it without us getting involved.

At the end of the day, most of the time it's the best solution. Once the officials gets involved, it's a very critical position they are in. Then they wait. I did the second attempt. I pass him. He did it again. At that point they definitely had to do it. Unfortunately, was only one lap to go.

I mean, I would understand that Justin wanted everything to be arranged quicker, but me too. At the end of the day, I think the officials did what they had to do with the time they had.

Q: What about working with Rocky?

ORIOL SERVIA: It's fantastic. I really, really, really enjoy it. It's one of the reasons that I'm so pleased to be at Newman/Haas. Obviously, the whole crew, it's fantastic. Everything, it's just wonderful. It definitely is. But Rocky, being the engineer, makes it very special. He's been very good before in the past had many success with Cristiano and Bruno. I'm really enjoying. He's really nice to work with, gives you great support. He's tough when he needs to be tough, tells you things the way they are. At the end of the day, he's very smart and works harder than anybody I've ever been with. That's probably the key to his success is how smart he is and how much he puts into it.

I'm just really proud that I've been able to work with him all this year.

ERIC MAUK: That will bring an end to our Champ Car media teleconference. Thanks to Oriol Servia. Enjoy a little time off, get those test runs done and we'll see you at Las Vegas at the end of September.

ORIOL SERVIA: I will. Thank you very much to all of you. I hope these four races left, very different. I think we at Newman/Haas have a real chance of winning the four of them. We'll keep it up. Hopefully we can bring more wins to the PacifiCare people that have been, as I said, real supporters of mine. I home I can keep delivering the goods for them.

ERIC MAUK: Thank you for joining us today.


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Series IndyCar
Drivers Oriol Servia