SERVIA LEADS 2013 INDYCAR SEASON OPENER IN THE STREETS OF ST. PETERSBURG

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 24, 2013) - Race Report

 

  • Oriol Servia finished 17th in the 2013 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in the No. 22 Mecum Auctions Panther DRR Chevrolet.

  • Servia advanced to Segment Two during qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award yesterday and started today's race in the 12th position.

  • Servia got caught up in a multi-car incident in Turn 9 on Lap 27, damaging the front nose and requiring a pit stop for a nose change.

  • On Lap 46, a strategic call to stay out under a full-course caution launched Servia from running 17th after the nose change to the lead. It would be the first laps Servia had led since the 2011 Indianapolis 500.

  • Servia would maintain the lead for 16 laps, from Lap 46 to 61. Servia led the field to restart on Lap 53, opening up a gap on Helio Castroneves, Will Power, and eventual race winner James Hinchcliffe.

  • A routine pit stop for fuel and tires on Lap 61 became problematic as the car would not go into a gear leaving the pit box. An issue with the clutch CCU was resolved and the team would go on to take the checkered flag.

  • Servia completed 104 of 110 laps and currently sits 17th in the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series point standings after Round 1 of 19.

  • The 2013 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg featured 110 laps around the 1.8 mile, 14-turn circuit through the streets of downtown St. Petersburg and a section of the runway of Albert Whitted Airport.

  • Panther DRR will return to the track April 5-7 at Barber Motorsports Park outside of Birmingham, Ala. for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 22 MECUM AUCTIONS PANTHER DRR CHEVROLET:

"At least we showed what we've been saying - the team has improved so much over the winter. We showed we had the pace. First we had bad luck, there was a crash in front of us and I broke the front wing.  We were on a different strategy after that, but it gave us the lead. The car was great; I was really happy to be able to maintain and to keep that gap in front of  Castroneves, Power, and Hinchcliffe. I think the race was going to play out in a way that would have had us finish in the top five the way we were running. It was unfortunate - we came into the pits, the clutch wouldn't disengage and we lost several laps fixing the problem. However, I am still very happy with how we ran today."