Oriol Servia driving the #2 Telemundo Newman/Haas Dallara through the end of the left-sweeping turn #10 at the 2011 37th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Servia went on to finish in the top 10 at P6 while avoiding late race mishaps. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2011)
Oriol Servia Captures DRR Seat, Becomes One Of The Lotus Legion
ChampCar standout and leader in performance consistency, Oriol Servia secures the lead seat on the planned two-car effort at Lotus works powered (Judd) Dreyer and Reinbold Racing (DRR).
Last year driving the old Dallara in its final season for the now disbanded Newman/Haas Telemundo sponsored effort, Oriol finished every race registering three podiums. This performance netted the Spainard a fourth in points lead by season's end, ahead of Team Penske's Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves, and all four rides in the Andretti Autosport stable. Not bad for a one-year campaign on an understandably proud but fading team.
At the announcement, Oriol said this about the courtship with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing; “I couldn’t be more excited, for many reasons. DRR is a team that I raced against since 2008 and they’ve always shown to be very professional at the racetrack.”
“Although I knew the owners, I didn’t know them very well, to be honest. Before signing with the team, like everybody else, I did my research and I couldn’t find one individual that didn’t speak highly of Dennis or Robbie, which gave me a lot of confidence.”
“I went to the team’s sponsor summit last week and met all of their partners that they have been involved with for many, many years, which was another clear sign that they are good people.”
On Dreyer and Reinbold running the Lotus twin-turbo power-plant prepared by John Judd in the back of the new DW12 chassis ... Servia is really anxious to give it a spin.
“I started on the front row for the Indianapolis 500 and I want to improve on that. I’m at the best point in my career and it was very important to partner with the right team. When I visited the DRR facility in Indianapolis, I couldn’t have been more impressed.”
“We are starting with a new engine and chassis, and I have confidence in Lotus and our ability to develop a quality product in 2012. When you have everyone [four teams, and factory support from Lotus works] pulling in the same direction like we are now is when we can accomplish our goals.”
(ht: The Checkered Flag)
At this time it is not known who will be Oriol's DDR team-mate but the rest of the Lotus Legion is filling in quickly and holds some pretty substantial and recognizable names from the former ChampCar World Series (CCWS) and CCWS open wheel ladder step, Formula Atlantic Series.
Joining Oriol Servia - Spain - (8 years CCWS finishing season P2 in 2005) in fielding a Lotus-powered DW12 in its inaugural season are the recently announced Dragon Racing stable of Sebastien Bourdais - France - (4-time CCWS Season Champion for Newman/Haas) and Katherine Legge - England - (Toyota Atlantic won three races in 2005, becoming the first woman to win a major open-wheel race in North America - First woman to drive and lead a lap in CCWS 2006), Bryan Herta Autosport's Alex Tagliani - Canada - (CCWS standard-bearer in Atlantic and ChampCar for 12 years - 107 consecutive CCWS starts - finishing with CCWS co-owner Paul Gentilozzi's Rocketsports Racing team) ... still waiting for a team-mate, and HVM Racing's Simona de Silvestro - Switzerland - (CCWS Formula Atlantic race winner - Long Beach 2008, 2009 season P3) who is also waiting for a team-mate ... currently, the Lotus Legion for 2012!
... notes from The EDJE
- Article first seen as Oriol Servia Captures DRR Seat, Becomes One Of The Lotus Legion at Technorati -