#22 Oriol Servia
• Team: Panther + Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
• Engine: Chevrolet
• Sponsors: Mecum Auctions/WIX Filters/Charter/Valspar
• 2012: 13th Place, Four Top Fives
2012 WRAP: After slogging through the first four events with a Lotus engine, DRR struck a strategic alliance with Panther Racing and flipped to Chevrolet power. The change made for an immediate jump in performance, as Servia charged from 27th to fourth at the Indianapolis 500. The Spaniard would also collect top-fives at Belle Isle, Milwaukee and Toronto, but what made him so memorable in 2012 was his ability to overcome poor qualifying results, as he passed a record 107 cars for position over the course of the season.
2013 OUTLOOK: As fun as it was to see Servia slice through the field, one assumes he and Panther + DRR would rather start up front more often and not have so much work for race day. Servia averaged a starting position of 18.3 in 2012, and he started from 20th or worse in seven of 15 races. But he’s proven that he can race his way into the lead pack from anywhere, and if he and his team can improve their qualifying work, Servia stands a good chance of cracking the top 10 in the championship.
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel are the two most decorated drivers currently on the Formula 1 grid, with seven World Championships between them (four for Vettel, and three for Hamilton).
However, their paths have rarely crossed on the track, and only in 2010 did both drivers battle each for a World Championship in the same year. They also battled Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber that year, with Vettel emerging on top to claim his first World Championship.
However, the 2017 season sees Hamilton and Vettel in the two best cars on the grid, and they have gone head-to-head multiple times already this year, with each claiming two victories through the first five races. Currently, Vettel leads Hamilton 104-98 in the world championship, and the two men are developing a strong on-track rivalry.
Monaco Grand Prix coverage continues with FP3 and qualifying on Saturday. Full times are linked here.
In Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, we take you behind the scenes during F1 superstar Fernando Alonso’s qualifying runs for the Indy 500, including when he was on the pole for a brief period. He’ll eventually start fifth.
On Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, Parker Kligerman and his backseat driver, Kyle Petty, took to the iRacing simulator to make a mock run around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.
They look at the challenges of IMS, as well as the challenges two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will face in the first oval track race in his illustrious career. Alonso is among the favorites in the race and will take the green flag from the middle of Row 2 (fifth position).
Check out the above video.
Sunday is the biggest day of the year in motorsports, starting in the morning with Formula 1’s legendary Monaco Grand Prix.
Then, at Noon ET, it’s the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The final part of the tripleheader of racing is NASCAR’s longest race of the season, the 400-lap, 600-mile Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Newly-named NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018 inductee Ken Squier gives you a great primer for what promises to be a memorable day around the world (see video above).