Photo: RLL Racing

Oriol Servia’s Detroit Fifth Third Bank livery revealed

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The Verizon IndyCar Series will have a double shot of Oriol Servia this weekend as the Spaniard continues, as scheduled, in Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s second car for Rounds 7 and 8 of the season.

The No. 16 Honda will feature Fifth Third Bank sponsorship this weekend at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Duals.

RLL’s team release is below.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that Fifth Third Bank has not only extended their partnership with the team as an associate sponsor for three more years, they have also expanded their role to include primary sponsorship of the No. 16 Indy car driven by Oriol Servia in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Duals, June 3 and 4.  It is their first time to be a primary sponsor on an Indy car. Fifth Third Bank is in its second year as an associate sponsor for the team.

“We are very pleased that we have been able to grow our Fifth Third relationship and feature them as the primary sponsor in both races in Detroit on Oriol Servia’s entry,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, with David Letterman and Mike Lanigan.  “My personal experience with Fifth Third Bank goes back to the days when I lived in Columbus, Ohio and I am very proud that it has grown to this level since our partnership began in 2016.  It’s going to be exciting to see Fifth Third as the primary sponsor on an Indy car and we look forward to the opportunity to put the car in Winner’s Circle.”

“There is no better way for us to ignite the Fifth Third brand than by partnering with the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team and Indy car racing, said Steven Alonso, Group Regional President of Fifth Third Bank.  “We had a great experience with our partnership last year and we are thrilled to not only continue but to increase our sponsorship for the next three years.  We are really looking forward to being the primary sponsor and see the Fifth Third Bank car in the field at the Detroit Grand Prix.”

Ferrari teammates Vettel and Raikkonen fastest in rainy final practice at Australian GP

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen went one-two in the final practice session ahead of qualifying at the water-logged Australian Grand Prix on Saturday.

Vettel set a best-lap time of 1 minute, 26.067 seconds, more than 2.4 seconds faster than his teammate in second.

Both Ferrari drivers switched from their intermediate tires to the super-fast, ultra-soft tires for the final few laps of the session, testing conditions on the track after a day-long downpour left it slick and filled with small puddles.

Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton did not opt to try out their soft tires, sticking to the intermediates for the entire session. They had the seventh- and eighth-fastest times, after topping the leaderboard in practice in dry conditions on Friday.

The heavy rains subsided by early afternoon, allowing the track to rapidly dry during the third practice session and making conditions safe for drivers to test their soft tires.

Still, only a few drivers completed a timed lap with the softer compounds, with Mercedes, Red Bull and most of the others staying with their intermediates.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson had the third-fastest time of the session on ultrasoft tires, followed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on intermediates.

Hamilton remains the favorite to capture his fifth straight pole position at the Australian Grand Prix in qualifying later Saturday. He had the fastest laps on ultrasoft tires in the two practice sessions on Friday, though Verstappen was right behind him.

Verstappen and Vettel both slid on the slick track early in the third practice session, but maintained control and completed their runs without incident.

Verstappen’s teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, had the sixth-fastest time of the session. The Australian’s chances of winning his fifth career Grand Prix on his home track in Melbourne took a hit late Friday when he was assessed a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race.

The Australian driver was penalized for driving too fast under red-flag conditions during Friday’s second practice session because of debris on the track.