Oriol Servia may not be able to go biking with his good friend Bruno Junqueira in the near future but he has signed to drive the Brazilian's ...
Oriol Servia may not be able to go biking with his good friend Bruno Junqueira in the near future but he has signed to drive the Brazilian's #2 PacifiCare Lola/Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone racer until Junqueira is fully fit from injuries sustained in the 89th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.
After starting ninth and finishing on the podium in the Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225 presented by US Bank at the Milwaukee Mile, where Newman/Haas Racing has traditionally had difficulties setting up and balanacing their championship Lolas, Servia was the front-runner to take over the seat for Junqueira, the Champ Car World Series point leader heading into that contest.
Servia, who claimed his sixth career Champ Car podium last weekend in his debut for Newman/Haas has raced in the series over the past six seasons and has 88 starts. He has driven for PPI Motorsports, Sigma Motorsports, PWR/Patrick Racing, Patrick Racing and Dale Coyne Racing. Servia's choice is popular with the entire Champ Car paddock.
"Oriol did a good job for us at Milwaukee, which has been one of our more difficult tracks the past few years," acknowledged Carl Haas, co-owner with Paul Newman of Newman/Haas Racing. "He is currently in sixth place in the point standings and we feel that together we could bring PacifiCare some good results."
Junqueira crashed out of the 89th Indianapolis 500 after tangling with the lapped car of A.J. Foyt IV on the 77th of 200 laps. Noted surgeon Dr. Terry Trammell performed surgery on the 28-year-old the day after the race, stabilizing Junqueira's T-12 and L-1 vertebrae. While there was no additional tissue damage, Junqueira is expected to be out for an extended period of time while he recuperates and rehabilitates his back in Indianapolis.
Of course Servia "enjoyed every moment I spent with Newman/Haas Racing in Milwaukee and am honored that they chose me to drive the PacifiCare car," Servia said. "This is a great opportunity for me and I will work very hard to bring good results and make Bruno proud," the 30-year-old Catalan declared.
"We are entering the heart of the season and will be racing at great events on tracks I love," Servia continued. "I'm looking forward to getting my first road course experience with the team in Portland and will work on getting everyone a great result there."
The Champ Car World Series 14-race season revs up at Portland International Raceway with the Grand Prix of Portland presented by G.I. Joe's on June 19th; the following weekend the series travels to Burke Lakefront Airport for the Cleveland Grand Prix presented by US Bank.