Servia back for RLL at Indy 500 as field continues to grow

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Oriol Servia will return to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for a third time at this year’s Indianapolis 500, in the team’s second car alongside Graham Rahal.

Servia also raced with the team last year and in 2009. It will be his seventh Indianapolis 500 race overall, where his best start is third (2011) and best finish is fourth (2012).

“I honestly couldn’t be any happier to announce that I will be entering the 99th Indi­anapolis 500 with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” Servia said in a release.

“There is a saying in Spanish ‘A la tercera va la vencida’ (Third time lucky) that I feel fits our effort very well. This will be our third attempt together to cross the most famous brick­yard first after 500 miles. The first two efforts were very promising and encour­aged all parties to go for it again with the most ambi­tious aspi­ra­tions.”

Bobby Rahal, team co-owner, noted the Graham/Servia reunion for the third time (Newman/Haas/Lanigan in 2009, and RLL last year).

“Having teamed with Graham before at Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and again last year, their setups seem to be quite similar so you can really take advan­tage of having a multi-car team,” Bobby Rahal said. “When we looked at who the best driver was to join us for the Indy 500, Oriol was our first choice. He’s compet­i­tive; he’s smart, has good race craft and brings it home.”

No car number or commercial partners were revealed for Servia; he was No. 16 last year.

Servia’s lineup brings the field to 28 confirmed car/driver combinations for this year’s race, and 29 confirmed cars (No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda has driver TBD).

At least one more car/driver announcement will be made this weekend in Long Beach.

F1 races in Austin, Mexico City hitting financial rough patches

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AUSTIN, Texas — Two of Formula One’s three races in North America are facing financial issues that are raising concern about their future.

Organizers of the U.S. Grand Prix won’t get at least $20 million from the state of Texas for the 2018 race after missing a paperwork deadline set by state law. And new questions lurk about the future of the Mexican Grand Prix after the country’s new president suggested the government may not spend on the race like it has the last four years.

Both races have been popular with drivers and fans, and have enjoyed key dates on the F1 calendar. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton clinched season championships in Texas in 2015 and in Mexico City in 2017 and 2018.

Officials in Formula One and at the Circuit of the Americas, host of the U.S. Grand Prix, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.