Dissappointing day for Panther DRR in Fontana

Although Servia qualified 18th yesterday he started 8th due to the other cars in front him that were issued 10-grid spot penalties for unapproved engine changes.

Oriol got a good start, but dropped a couple of positions as he worked on making adjustments to get his car more comfortable. He came in for the first time on Lap 37 for fuel, tires and a turn of front wing. He was P18 when he came in and filtered out to P21.

Oriol Servia, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet
Oriol Servia, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Jeff Davidson

On Lap 57, Servia came in on Lap 57 for fuel and tires. He was P14 after the stop. Unfortunately the left front tire got loose and a Panther DRR crew member had to go over the wall to get the tire. As a result, Oriol had to serve a drive thru penalty on Lap 67 for an illegal person that went over the wall causing him to go a lap down.

On Lap 76, Servia stayed out and got the wave around. On Lap 82, he was back on the lead lap and sat in 17th position. After the Lap 85 restart he kept moving up and gained a number of positions.

The caution came out on Lap 108 and Oriol came into the pits on Lap 110, for fuel, tires, and a tire pressure adjustment. He filtered out to P11.

Trouble would set in on Lap 132. Servia had to come into pit lane because the water temperatures were too high. Rubber got stuck in the radiator causing the water temperature to rise. He went from P13 to P17 and went down a lap as a result.

The problem continued throughout the race and he had to come in on Lap 160, 185, 203, and 219. Every time he came in the No. 22 crew had to blow out the rubber that was stuck in the radiator as well as fill the car full of fuel and switch to a new set of tires. Servia finished the day 19 laps down and brought the car home in 19th position.

Yesterday, Servia qualified 18th for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. He was 12th in line and secured a spot on the grid with a two-lap average qualifying speed of 212.533 mph (Lap 1-212.818 mph, Lap 2-212.250 mph). During yesterday morning's practice session, Oriol was 21st fastest and logged a total of 27 laps. For the second practice session, Servia was the 10th quickest and completed a total of 35 laps.

Oriol had the opportunity to test at Auto Club Speedway on Wednesday. The team logged in a number of laps and as a result, reached the limit on miles on the Chevy engine, so he has a fresh engine for this weekend. This put Oriol on his fifth engine so he did not receive an engine penalty.

This weekend marked Servia's sixth start at Auto Club Speedway (two of the six starts were in the Indy Lights championship where he finished 25th in 1998 and 14th in 1999, clinching the Indy Lights championship). Oriol competed at the track from 2000-2002. Hisbest finish was fifth in the 2002 CART race and his best start of 16th in 2000.

For the last three years Servia has called Santa Monica, California home. He moved out west with his girlfriend Jackie at the end of 2008 and the couple still lives in California, which will make this weekend a "homecoming" for the Spaniard.

In nine races, Servia has gained a total of 107 positions (7 positions in St. Pete to finish 16th, 13 positions in Barber to finish 13th, 7 positions in Long Beach to finish 16th, 12 positions in Brazil to finish 11th, 23 positions in Indianapolis to finish 4th, 11 positions in Detroit to finish 5th, 16 positions in Milwaukee to finish 4th, 9 positions in Toronto to finish 5th , and 9 positions in Baltimore to finish 7th).

Since making the switch to Chevy power, Panther DRR and Oriol Servia have earned five top-ten results (four of them being top-five results) in ten races, tying with a season best of fourth place at the Indianapolis 500 and in Detroit.

Motegi Racing was the primary livery on the No. 22 machine this weekend. Through technical partnerships with leading professional racing teams, Motegi Racing Competition and High Performance Tuning wheels are designed and engineered for performance. Motegi Racing is owned by Wheel Pros, one of the largest suppliers of branded custom wheels, performance tires and related accessories for cars, SUVs and light trucks.

Last year, Oriol finished fourth in IZOD IndyCar Series standings....Recorded 11 top-10 finishes, with a best of second at New Hampshire and Baltimore....Among three drivers to be running at the finish in all 17 races..... Led all drivers in laps completed (2,103 of 2,011)....Oriol was the only driver to finish in the top 10 in first five races of the season.

Source: Panther DRR

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Oriol Servia
Teams Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
Article type Race report
Tags chevrolet, fontana, indycar, mavtv, panther, servia