2009 INDIANAPOLIS 500 NOTEBOOK Servia named to drive Rahal Letterman entry; Track activity resumes Thursday INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, May 13, 2009 -- Open-wheel veteran Oriol Servia was named to drive the entry fielded by Rahal Letterman...
2009 INDIANAPOLIS 500 NOTEBOOK Servia named to drive Rahal Letterman entry; Track activity resumes Thursday
INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, May 13, 2009 -- Open-wheel veteran Oriol Servia was named to drive the entry fielded by Rahal Letterman Racing in the 2009 Indianapolis 500, team officials announced May 13. Servia, from Spain, finished 11th in a KV Racing entry as an Indianapolis 500 rookie in 2008. He will drive the No. 17 Dallara/Honda/Firestone with sponsorship from DAFCA, a company dedicated to protecting the supply chain of micro-electronic goods from acts of cyber-terrorism through DAFCA's revolutionary "in chip" process.
"Sometimes being stubborn is not such a bad thing," Servia said. "I had a great season last year, and I feel I am at the top of my game. Although the season started without me having a ride, I knew that if I was patient enough something good would happen. I am really excited to announce this opportunity I have been given to participate in the greatest race in the world with one of the best teams in open-wheel history.
"I have raced many years against the Rahal Letterman team and it makes me very proud to be finally part of it. I am sure that together our focused efforts will make a very successful experience. I am also very pleased to be part of DAFCA's first journey into the Indianapolis 500 and make it as fast, secure and accomplished as the company itself stands for."
This will be the 12th year that Rahal Letterman will compete in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing." The team won the race in 2004 with driver Buddy Rice. Danica Patrick won the Chase Rookie of the Year Award in 2005 in an RLR entry, as did Ryan Hunter-Reay last year.
"We have worked very hard all year in order to put this program together for the Indianapolis 500, and we feel like we have a package that will allow us to go to Indy and perform well," said RLR co-owner Bobby Rahal, the 1986 winner of the "500." "The team's experience, combined with a veteran talent like Oriol, should give us everything we need to be competitive throughout the event. We are extremely pleased to welcome DAFCA to the RLR family and look forward to giving DAFCA a great experience in their first visit to Indy."
Teams eye final weekend of qualifying: The quiet of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway over the past three days will give way to the sounds of race cars preparing for the Indianapolis 500 as practice resumes on Thursday, May 14.
Practice is scheduled Thursday and Friday from noon to 6 p.m. (ET), with gates opening at 9 a.m. General admission tickets are $5, with children ages 5 and younger admitted free. The final two days of practice before the last weekend of qualifications are expected to be very busy as teams not yet in the field will set up their cars for qualification runs to secure a spot in the field of 33 on Race Day, May 24.
Last weekend's qualifying secured the first 22 starting spots and teams and drivers will vie for positions 23-33 on Saturday, May 16. Bump Day, the final day of qualifications, is scheduled for Sunday, May 17.
Qualifying both days begin at noon. Gates open at 8 a.m., and admission is $10 (ages 5 and under free) for both Saturday's Coke Zero Music Fest/Third Day Qualifying and Sunday's Bump Day/Armed Forces Day.
Get Indy tickets soon: The biggest event on the global racing calendar is drawing near, as the 2009 Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 24 will be filled with many storylines.
And tickets are still available for "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."
Helio Castroneves will start from the pole for the third time after capturing the PEAK Performance Pole Award on May 9 with a four-lap average speed of 224.864 mph. After a year in NASCAR, Dario Franchitti returns to the "500" and will start from the No. 3 position. He won the race from that starting spot in 2007.
Reigning IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon will try to become the first driver since Castroneves in 2001-02 to win the race two consecutive years. He will start fifth.
Graham Rahal will start fourth, the same position from which his father, Bobby Rahal, won the 1986 Indianapolis 500.
2005 Indianapolis 500 Chase Rookie of the Year Danica Patrick and Sarah Fisher will start 10th and 21st, respectively.
Fans can order tickets online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700 or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or at the ticket office at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Parking and camping information also can be obtained through the ticket office.
Hours for phone orders and the ticket office are 8 a.m.-6 p.m. (ET) Monday-Sunday during May, with special hours of 6 a.m.-1 p.m. on Race Day, Sunday, May 24.
Tickets start as low as $20 for general admission, with reserved seats also available.