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IndyCar Series: GAINSCO Auto Insurance Indy 300

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  GAINSCO Auto Insurance Indy 300

IndyCar Series: GAINSCO Auto Insurance Indy 300

Oriol Servia
March 29, 2008


HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA

THE MODERATOR: We'll get started with Oriol Servia, who I've been told is now called the transition driver. But you're the top finishing transition driver who finished 12th in tonight's race. Oriol, talk a little bit about the race tonight.
ORIOL SERVIA: Well, it was a long race, a long day at the office, which has good and bad things. Good because we definitely wanted to do the full race and gather as much data and information of the car and the ovals as we could. But it was long because we were so slow. It's so much longer than a 500-mile race I ever done.
But anyway, the car went well till the end, which was our first goal. For some laps, we had some decent speed actually. On every stint after 10 laps or so, the tires were starting to lose their edge; we were lacking a lot of grip, we were slow, and all over the place. It wasn't that much fun. But, you know, it's part of the business and we'll get better.
I mean, we've been better every time we go out, so we can expect. I know I have a great team behind me and we'll show our potential very soon.
THE MODERATOR: Looking forward to St. Pete next week? You're pretty good on the road courses.
ORIOL SERVIA: Yeah, I'm excited about going to St. Pete. I think there's a little bit too high expectations for the transition guys just because it's our kind of track. At the end of the days, we're still fighting these big teams that know this car for five years. We're still quite a bit behind. The lap times we did at Sebring, what we learned in the car was very promising. At least we know in a street race, when we go soft at the front what it means to a car. Still we're here kind of guessing a lot.
But it was fun. Yeah, looking forward to next weekend.
THE MODERATOR: Did you learn a lot tonight you might be able to use in future oval races this season?
ORIOL SERVIA: Yeah, I learned a lot. About the car, I learn how -- what happens when you have five cars in front of you in a super speedway and you have no downforce, these kind of scary feelings. I think there's going to be plenty of those this season.
It was good fun and I can only imagine when we're up to speed how fun it's going to be.
THE MODERATOR: We'll take some questions.

Q. Oriol, aside from car issues, were you able to pick up any tips from some of the regulars in this series? Did you observe them as they were running away?
ORIOL SERVIA: Well, the truth is they were flying so fast around me, I didn't have much time to play with them. Every stint for four or five laps, I thought I had a little bit of speed that was going to make me able to follow them close. But not really. Not really. I was just, you know, lucky to be able to keep one line and keep my car there.

Q. How much different are these cars, the IndyCars, than the ones you drove last year? Is there a big difference both handling and suspension-wise, so forth?
ORIOL SERVIA: Well, I can compare in Sebring. I would say performance-wise, you know, we drove the Lola two years ago, then we went to the Panoz. So the same step forward more or less that the Panoz was to the Lola. I would say this is backwards to the Lola. Same kind of car, same tires, but just, you know, less downforce, less power and heavier.
That's basically it.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Oriol.
ORIOL SERVIA: Thank you.

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