CHAMPCAR/CART: Sigma signs Servia

Oriol Servia has now officially joined Chicago's FedEx CART Team Sigma Autosport as its driver for the imminent 2001 season. Servia, who finished second in the standings for CART rookie of The Year last year showed flashes of brilliance in his...

Oriol Servia has now officially joined Chicago's FedEx CART Team Sigma Autosport as its driver for the imminent 2001 season. Servia, who finished second in the standings for CART rookie of The Year last year showed flashes of brilliance in his rookie season.

Servia's best finish of Third at Detroit (2000) proved to most series watchers that, indeed, the Indy Lights protégé was ready to race on the world's most competitive open-wheel formula circuit - CART. Servia is sponsored by Catalonia, a consortium of businesses from his home region of Spain. (Separate release forthcoming on Servia's commercial sponsor support.)


Phil Howard, Oriol Servia Photo: Team Sigma Autosport

"Of course Sigma is very happy to have Oriol on board and already testing successfully" said Paul Cherry, who is the Team's Managing Director and Co-Owner.

"Certainly many people in the press and fan sector alike were sure that Oriol would be our driver but both parties had to make sure that we were in agreement on details - - - and we are."

Cherry went further in his commentary on his second-year driver by saying that " I have had nearly three years to watch Oriol progress from Indy Lights Rookie, to Lights Champion and then into CART itself. He is very consistent, very demanding of himself and quite focused as one would expect."

By telephone from England, Cherry said that he and Owner Tom Wieringa are relieved to be able to get on with preparation for the 2001 season now that a firm driver arrangement is in place.

With the season only weeks away Sigma and Servia got right down to business with 200 - miles of testing at the Homestead Motorsports Complex on Thursday and Friday (Feb. 8 & 9). Servia had been fit for his Sigma - Lola - Ford seat on February 2 in the Chicago Shops so was ready to hop right into the cockpit and get down to business. And he did just that.


Photo: Team Sigma Autosport

Servia set a best time of 27.3 at the 1.5 mile circuit on Thursday His times were only off of Andretti's by 2/10ths of a second.

On Friday, the team put in 100 miles of testing at the speedway and the 27-year-old Catalonian (Oriol's native region of Spain and a personal sponsor of his professional racing career) registered a 26 flat.

Team Manager Phil Howard was pleased with the first test saying, by phone, "We're fine with the first results especially considering that Oriol hasn't been in a race car since he tested with Prost Grand Prix in mid-December last year." (Sigma Members can click into the Gallery and see pictures of this test session at the Catalunya Circuit in Oriol's home region of Spain.) The Sigma Team Manager continued "He turned in very competitive times here at Homestead so we are looking forward to getting to know him even better when we go to Laguna this week. He was very smooth here at Homestead, however, and I think that the entire team anticipates some excellent results this year."

-Team Sigma

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Oriol Servia , Tom Wieringa