After not having a lot of success last year in the part that sponsorship funding could not be found, Newman-Haas has been able to put themselves back on the map this year with a large part of that being cause of Oriol Servia.
[media-credit name=”oriolservia.com” align=”alignright” width=”225″][/media-credit]Nine races into the year, Servia currently has the No. 2 car fourth in points, 89 points behind points leader Dario Franchitti.
“The season has been great, outstanding to the point that we’re getting so close to the win that we can almost smell it and I think that nothing else will satisfy us now, which is where we exactly want to be in IndyCar racing,” he said. “So we’re in a really good place, we’re getting stronger and stronger each weekend. I’m fourth in the points; I lost third in the last race, but we’re hoping this weekend that we have a good one and we can get back in the top three in the standings.”
There’s been a lot of change within Newman-Haas, including the addition of rookie driver James Hinchcliffe, which has been good for the team.
“It’s great, actually, because he’s not only a great driver, but he’s very fun to be around with,” Servia said. “He’s very smart and he’s a rookie, but comes with a lot of experience because he’s done Indy Lights and Atlantic Series for a few years now so he has a very good work ethic. We work really well together between us and the engineers and it’s the way it has to be to be successful in the series. So its been huge for me to have him as a teammate and I think being together is a big reason why we’re doing really well.”
The Girona, Spain native got his start with Newman-Haas back in 2005 and the following season, he was able to finish second in points. From there, they tried to put a deal together, even running four races in 2009, though the deal didn’t come together till this year. He caught the eye of Newman-Haas after success in the Firestone Indy Lights, including a championship in 1999.
“That’s a moment in my life where I was trying to become a professional racer, but I wasn’t yet,” he said. “That meant that I had to win the championship if I wanted any chance and the day I won the championship, I only lost control of all of my emotions and it was a great feeling.”
While working his way up the ranks, he has learned many lessons, though for him, its all about the work ethic.
“The biggest lesson in racing is that you gotta be consistent, you gotta never give up, and you got to work hard,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re talented or not, but if you don’t work as hard as you can, you just will not do it, even if you’re the most talented. So, you know racing teaches that you very well because each weekend you’re battling against similar equipment and other drivers and it’s a great way to test yourself every weekend. So definitely one of the biggest things I’ve learned in racing.”
For Servia last week, it was a finish of 14th after qualifying ninth, though with the Honda Indy in Toronto this weekend, Servia is hoping for more success.
“Its very difficult to start with, especially to race on, and we’ll see,” he said. “The street race, its very easy to make mistakes and ends up being a survival race, so the first thing is I just hope that we can be there at the end. That’s the first thing, and then hopefully fighting for victory.”
While Newman-Haas has gone through some changes, the series is also going through changes as a new car will be introduced in 2012. To that, Servia says its a good addition for the series for the drivers and fans.
“I think it’s great that we have a new car,” he said. “I don’t care how it looks, but I think its about time to have a different car. I mean, its good for the drivers as we have to get use to a new car, but its good for the fans also. I think this car has been used now for at least seven years, I think, and the fans like to see some innovation and some change and I think it won’t be difficult to make it a good looking car.”