IndyCar »

Moraes tops first week two practice at Indy.

Mario Moraes may have topped the timesheets as practice for the Indianapolis 500 resumed on Thursday, but it was Oriol Servia who caught the eye, the Catalan going seventh overall - and fastest among those hoping to make the field for the race this weekend.

Moraes, who led his first laps in the IndyCar Series at last year's 500 while running with Dale Coyne Racing, paced the opening day of week two with KV Racing Technology, posting a best lap of 222.739mph to head off front row starters Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves as the 22 drivers who have already qualified for the race worked on their race set-ups. Moraes will start seventh a week on Sunday.

"It was a really good day," the Brazilian reported, "The car is really good in qualifying set-up, and now it's very good in race set-up. The team has just been doing a really good job. As a team, everyone is working on one thing together. At the end of the week, we're going to put everything together and get one solid race car for everyone."

In addition to the 22 confirmed starters, another eleven drivers also practiced in the hope of finding the set-up that will allow them to grab a decent starting spot over this weekend's final qualifying sessions. Although a similar number of positions remain vacant, new combinations continue to be rumoured, making practice important.

Servia, who finished eleventh overall as a rookie last year, was the fastest of those hoping to make the field in 2009, lapping at 221.353mph on his first day with Rahal Letterman Racing's one-off entry, and denied that he was feeling at all nervous about the task ahead.

"It's been a crazy last three months and everyone has been asking me today if there's any pressure being a last-week and reduced programme....," Servia laughed, "I haven't felt this relieved in a long time. Finally, I am in a car, and I know I'm going to be in the race. I'm in a great team, and there are great people around me. I felt great right away from the first lap.

"We want to take one step at a time, but right now, I'm really excited and happy. When you are driving for Rahal Letterman, you better step on it. They won this race in 2004 and, honestly, the car felt great the moment I stepped into it. That makes the job of the driver a lot easier. It's only our first day and, hopefully, we'll have another dry day tomorrow so we can prepare for qualifying. It's probably the most important race of my life, so I'm very happy with the way things have started."

Townsend Bell, a two-time 500 starter now partnering Moraes at KVRT, was second in the group - and tenth overall - at 220.938mph, as he too made his first appearance of the month.

"It was a good day," Bell noted, "The team's very strong, and we're happy to have the Herbalife car running pretty respectably on the first day. I'm really thrilled with the general balance that we have. People on this team are great, and that makes it really easy for me to do my job in the car. I think we're going to continue to improve.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mario Moraes - KV Racing Technology   [pic credit: IRL]
Graham Rahal celebrates victory in the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway   (image credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens)
Ed Jones - Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Oriol Servia in his pit stand following practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Will Power on course during practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power waits in his pit stand prior to practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg -- Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media
Will Power on course during practice for the 2016 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power on course during practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
The #12 Chevrolet of Will Power against the backstretch wall following contact during practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Will Power during practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg on Friday March 11. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Will Power during practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg on Friday March 11. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud in first practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud in first practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud in first practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon navigates the Turn 9/9A chicane during the final practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Penske`s Will Power during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay reviews telemetry data in his pit stand during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay apexes the Turn 9A chicane during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.