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Sep 15, 2012 - 09:59 AM
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2012 Fontana: Oriol Servia IndyCar Qualifying Recap
Posted by: newsla on Sep 15, 2012 - 09:56 AM
IndyCar Weekend Team Reports
2012 Fontana: Oriol Servia IndyCar Qualifying Recap

Fast Facts:
• Servia qualified 18th for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. He was 12th in line today for qualifying. He 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). Although Servia qualified 18th today he will start 8th due to the other cars in front him that have been issued 10-grid spot penalties for unapproved engine changes.


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• 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 puts Oriol on his fifth engine so he will not receive an engine penalty.
• During this 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.
• This weekend will mark 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.
• Servia currently sits 12th in the championship with 275 points and is 30 points from 10th place.
• 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 is 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.

Panther DRR

• This will mark the team's fifth time to compete at the temporary street circuit. In 2002, Memo Gidley started 27th and finished 21st. In 2003, Robbie Buhl started the race 6th and finished 10th and Sarah Fisher started 15th and finished 18th. In 2004, Felipe Giaffone started the race 19th and finished 8th. In 2005, Roger Yasukawa started the race 20th and finished 16th.
• It was announced in May that the Indianapolis-based squad has united with two-time IndyCar Series champion Panther Racing to form a strategic alliance on Oriol Servia's entry for the remainder of the 2012 season. The No. 22 Panther/DRR team will utilize Panther's second Chevrolet engine lease and work in conjunction with the No. 4 National Guard team and driver JR Hildebrand.


"Qualifying was better than this morning. This morning we were not happy with car. We actually made big changes. We put in the same setup as my teammate (JR Hildebrand) which was great to be able to do that. The car was better, but still was a little too loose. I almost lost it out of turn two, like big time. I couldn't even be flat. So for not being flat, I thought the speed was pretty good, we can fix it tonight.

"The difference is there is banking here. Then you go through the corner and then there is more banking. The backstraight has zero banking. So it goes from having banking to really disappearing while you are still in the corner. So all of a sudden, you still want to turn, but there is not banking and the car is not going to turn the same way. If ever it is going to go, it is going to go there."

Back on Track: The MAVTV 500 will be at 8:30 pm ET on Saturday, September 15th. Live coverage will be on the NBC Sports Network and the IMS Radio Network.

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