This Week in Ford Racing June 14, 2005 Champ Car World Series For the past five years, Oriol Servia has made strides competing in the Champ Car World Series, but none equal the opportunity to drive for Newman/Haas Racing, the winningest...
This Week in Ford Racing
June 14, 2005
Champ Car World Series
For the past five years, Oriol Servia has made strides competing in the Champ Car World Series, but none equal the opportunity to drive for Newman/Haas Racing, the winningest team in the series. Servia was called to drive for friend and fellow competitor Bruno Junqueira in the Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225 at the Milwaukee Mile. Newman/Haas Racing named Servia to fill in while driver Junqueira recovers from injuries after a crash in the Indy 500. Just days following his third-place podium finish, Servia talked about his opportunity with the team.
Oriol Servia - No. 2 PacifiCare Ford/Lola
What are YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE ANNOUNCEMENT that you will be driving for Newman/Haas until BRUNO RETURNS? "I'm very happy for what has happened (to me). It is a great opportunity to be associated with PacifiCare. Sometimes in racing, as a driver you just have to run with the stickers of whoever sponsors the team. In this case it is perfect. I am a sportsman. I am health-conscious. I hope I can be a good spokesperson for them. I've always been in good shape and have been working out with a trainer back in Barcelona for the past six, seven years. Last year I started doing yoga and Pilates. It's not everything, but it balances out my workouts. It works for me. I'm really lucky to be able to do and spend all my time in something that I really like. I think I would be involved in racing anyway if I wasn't driving. Driving is the best part of the racing world. I'm really excited. Especially in a championship like this one with great cars, great tracks, great fans and now that I'm with the greatest team."
Where does your INSPIRATION COME FROM? "For sure, there is no real need to find inspiration, you're just part of such a big thing, it's impossible not to be excited and elated. Working for Paul Newman - it's a great thing. I knew Carl and Paul since early 2000 when I stepped up to Champ Cars. Always an extremely nice gentleman to me. With Mr. Newman being such a celebrity, he's probably the most famous face on the planet, extremely nice, extremely down to earth. Now that I drive for them it's a great pleasure, great honor. From my grandmother to my mother to my sister, they are all very excited that I am driving for Mr. Newman."
How Are You PREPARING FOR PORTLAND with a new team? "I'm going in with the same approach as Milwaukee. Obviously there is pressure. When you are with a top team and a top car, everyone expects you to do well and go for the win - and that is what I'm going for. At the same time, I honestly feel so happy. I've worked so hard through these last few years and had circumstances - everything is so much easier now. So many people working towards the same objective that I am, in the team, that makes it so much easier for me. I'm just really, really enjoying every second and I'm going with the same approach, whether it's going to be five, 10 or 300 races."
Has BRUNO Been able to provide any SUPPORT? "He'd love to be in the car. We are good friends. We've known each other. I know that I have his support to be in his car and that means a lot to me. At Milwaukee I had to wear his uniform; in the past I don't think we look alike. But, I've had people ask me to sign his autograph and vice versa. In Australia I shaved my head but I won't go with that again."
I understand you have an engineering background? "I have a mechanical engineering degree and I love the mechanical side of racing, but I'm a lot better driver than engineer. I just concentrate on driving. My background helps me understand a little more, or at least helps me to tell the engineers the right thing. I think it helps and I get involved, but I let the engineers do their job and I do my job."
Do you PREFER Road Courses or Ovals? "I'd say that road racing is my background because in Europe, that's what we do. I felt extremely comfortable the first time in 1998 when I drove on an oval in the United States and I think since then I've really liked ovals. I use to like when we use to have six or seven oval races. I thought that was a great balance. So, I miss a little bit the ovals. Especially the short ovals like Nazareth. I like the combination of all. I still like the road and street. I think it is one of the keys of the success of this championship - the combination of the three forms of racing."