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Servia to run partial season at RLL Racing
5 March 2014
Oriol Servia has secured himself a part-time seat at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for 2014 which will see him competing in this year's Indianapolis 500 in May alongside Graham Rahal, as well as the first-ever IndyCar road race to take place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway two weeks prior to the Indy 500.
"We have had the pleasure of working with Oriol before and are looking forward to his return," said team co-owner Bobby Rahal on Wednesday. “I have always respected his ability to develop the race car and be a productive member of the team so when it came time to consider the possibility of a second entry he was right at the top of the list.
"We are happy to have him back and look forward to having him help the team progress toward the front," he added.
"I can't wait to start and want to thank Bobby Rahal, Mike Lanigan and David Letterman for putting this program together," responded Servia. "There are enough synergies within the team that make me feel positive that even if we may be starting a little late, we will hit the road running."
Servia, a native of Pals, Spain, has made 191 starts in US open wheel racing since his début with PPI Motorsports in the Champ Car World Series in 2000. His career highlights include one win at Montreal in 2005, one pole at Surfers Paradise in 2005 and a total of 19 top-three, 51 top-five and 100 top ten finishes.
Servia last competed on behalf of Rahal's team for the 2009 Indy 500 before subsequently signing up with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing. That team's shock retirement from the IndyCar Series at the end of 2011 left Servia without a race seat before he joined up with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for 2012.
History repeated itself in 2013 when DRR exited the series following last year's Indy 500, with Servia subsequently competing in seven of the remaining 14 races of the year for Panther Racing. However with Panether's position currently uncertain following the loss of its National Guard sponsorship and without a share of the Leaders Circle incentive budget, Servia's future in the series again looked in question before this week's announcement.
As well as the two races at Indianapolis, Servia is also currently scheduled to take part in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, the second and third races of 2014 respectively. The team said that the intention was to add more races to Servia's itinerary as further sponsorship details are finalised.
“Continuity is a very important part of success in any racing team,” said Servia. “By my moving to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, this happens at many different levels.
"On the team side, in 2009 we did the 500 together as a one-off race. We were running very strong until we had a fuel pump fail on us but that one race left us with a sensation that we could do great things together. That same year I did a short stint at Newman/Haas/Lanigan.
"My teammate was Graham and that also started a great chemistry between us that translated to results on track where we finished third and fourth in the last race we ran," he added.
“There are a lot of people in the team that I have worked in the past,” Servia pointed out. "Actually John Dick, one of the latest arrivals to the team, was my race engineer in my rookie year at PPI, and on and on."
Servia will have his first outing in the second RLL entry at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama when the series holds its open test on March 17 and 18.
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