IndyCar Driver Review: Oriol Servia

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With the IndyCar season in the books and a limited amount of news to come since the season finale at Fontana, my MotorSportsTalk colleague Chris Estrada and are taking a look back at the 2013 season just past. Chris and I each ranked our top 10 drivers and some of the biggest stories; now we take a look back at the field driver-by-driver.

In P22, driver of Car 22 before that went away, and best of the part-timers, Oriol Servia…

2013 SEASON PREVIEW

Oriol Servia

  • Teams: Panther DRR, Panther Racing
  • 2012: 13th Place, Best Finish 4th, Best Start 8th
  • 2013: 22nd Place (12 Starts), Best Finish 4th, Best Start 7th, 1 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 16 Laps Led, 13.9 Avg. Start, 12.5 Avg. Finish

DiZinno says: Servia scored only three less points than Saavedra did, but in seven fewer starts, and that says it all really about who should have had a full season chance. Servia’s went away when the funding did at Panther DRR despite a strong five-race stretch to open the year; it’s easy to forget, but he was ninth in points leaving the Indianapolis 500. It made too much sense for him to move into Panther Racing proper after that, but logistics, contracts and questionable management decisions made that logic impossible. Still, Servia did what he could in the seven remaining races he drove for Panther. He remains IndyCar’s “ghost driver,” who stars for midfield teams before they run out of money, while only rarely being noticed by a TV camera.

Estrada says: One of the more reliable veterans in the IndyCar paddock, Servia is a driver whose skills demand a competitive full-time ride. Mechanical problems at St. Pete and early contact at Barber made for a slow start, but the Spaniard shook them off with a sixth at Long Beach and an impressive fourth at Sao Paulo. Unfortunately, his Panther DRR side could go no further following Indy and he moved over to Panther Racing for a part-time run of seven more races that, for various reasons, didn’t yield a lot of results. Nonetheless, he did a good job with the situations that he had to deal with in 2013.

Toyota victorious in Bahrain on Porsche’s LMP1 swansong

Toyota Motorsport GmbH
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SAKHIR, Bahrain – Toyota denied Porsche a swansong victory in its final LMP1 appearance in the FIA World Endurance Championship by taking a commanding win in the 6 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday.

Porsche started from pole in the last competitive outing for the three-time Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid car, only to lose out to Toyota’s Sebastien Buemi within the first half an hour of the race.

Porsche lost one of its cars from contention for victory after an errant bollard got stuck underneath Timo Bernhard’s No. 2 entry, leaving Nick Tandy to lead its charge in the No. 1 car.

Tandy moved into the lead just past half distance after a bold strategy call from Porsche to triple-stint the Briton after a fuel-only stop, vaulting him ahead of Anthony Davidson in the No. 8 Toyota.

Tandy’s win hopes were soon dashed when he tangled with a GTE-Am backmarker at Turn 1, sustaining damage that forced Porsche into an unplanned pit stop that put the car a lap down.

With the No. 7 Toyota losing two laps following a clash with a GTE-Pro car earlier on, Davidson, Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima went unchallenged en route to the car’s fifth victory of the season.

Porsche rounded out the podium with its cars, with the No. 2 leading home the No. 1, leaving Toyota’s No. 7 car to settle for P4 at the checkered flag.

Vaillante Rebellion clinched the title in LMP2 after a stunning fightback led by Bruno Senna, with the Brazilian securing his maiden motorsport championship win in the process.

GTE-Pro saw AF Corse complete a hat-trick of titles in 2017, with James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi wining the class’ first world championship recognized by the FIA, while Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda sewed up the GTE-Am title.