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Mama Mia! Ferrari powerhouse Scuderia Corsa partners with Rahal for Indy 500

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Legendary IMSA, 24 Hours of Le Mans and endurance racing team Scuderia Corsa will add a new chapter to its legacy on the biggest motorsports platform in the world.

The Southern California-based organization announced Friday that it will field a team for this year’s Indianapolis 500, with veteran IndyCar driver Oriol Servia behind the wheel.

In addition, the team will partner with Rahal Letterman and Lanigan Racing to put forth the effort, it was announced in St. Petersburg, Florida, site of this weekend’s 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

“It is an honor to compete at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” Scuderia Corsa team owner Giacomo Mattioli said. “To be a part of this great racing heritage and tradition is something I always envisioned for Scuderia Corsa and running across the yard of the bricks this year is a thrill.

“I am excited to be partnering with Bobby Rahal and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, such an outstanding and established team, as well as having veteran IndyCar series driver, Oriol Servia, onboard.”

While Scuderia Corsa is known for racing Ferrari’s, it will race a Honda in the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500. RLL principal Bobby Rahal is looking forward to the partnership.

“Scuderia Corsa has a very successful track record in sports car racing and Giacomo’s success in the retail automotive marketplace is well known,” Rahal said. “And it goes without saying that we are very pleased to have Oriol back with us for our fifth Indy 500 together.

“He brings a lot of talent to the program and I have no doubt that together with Graham (Rahal) and Takuma (defending Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato) … we have three very, very strong entries in the 500, three strong chances to win. That certainly is exciting.”

This will be Servia’s 17th year of racing an open-wheel car in either the former CART/Champ Car Series or the Verizon IndyCar Series.

Servia has made 201 career starts across those series, with one win (2005). His best season finishes were fifth in 2005 in Champ Car, and fourth in 2011 in IndyCar.

“As you can imagine, I’m very excited first to be at the 500 … especially doing it with Bobby’s team,” Servia said during Friday’s press conference in St. Pete.

“Obviously both teams are very successful, winning teams. When you put two teams together, you never know how it’s going to come out. They both saw the advantage of taking, you know, this shot together. With our friends at Honda supporting, too. I couldn’t be happier.”

Former Formula One driver Stefan Johansson is Scuderia Corsa’s sporting director.

“IndyCar has got great momentum at the moment,” Johansson said. “I think the timing is great. Obviously what better place to start than the Indy 500? I mean, it’s the biggest race in the world. It’s a great place to put the team on the map, on a much larger scale than what we do right now.”

Rahal believes adding both Servia and Scuderia Corsa will bring in additional fans globally.

“Definitely this is going to generate a lot of international interest, given the relationship that Giacomo has with Ferrari,” Rahal said. “You’ve got to believe there’s going to be a lot of Italian people following the 500 this year.”

Rahal then added with a laugh about Oriol, a native of Spain: “Maybe we’ll have to the change Oriol’s nationality to Italian. Whatever it takes, right?”

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Since Mattioli and partner Art Zafiropoulo formed it in 2013, Scuderia Corsa has amassed an outstanding racing resume, including:

* 2017 IMSA GTD Champion
* 2017 Le Mans podium
* 2017 6H of Watkins Glen podium
* 2017 12H of Sebring podium
* 2016 IMSA GTD Champion
* 2016 24Hours of Le Mans GTE-Am winner
* 2016 6H of Watkins Glen Winner
* 2016 12H of Sebring Winner
* 2016 Pirelli World Challenge GTA Champion
* 2015 24Hours of Le Mans Podium
* 2015 IMSA GTD
* 2013 Grand-AM GT championship

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Supercross: Tomac, Roczen square off in Arlington; Webb gives chase

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The Monster Energy Supercross championship battle remains tight after Eli Tomac took the lead from Ken Roczen just last week at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Now the series heads to Arlington, Texas, and the AT&T Stadium for Round 8. (Watch on NBCSN or stream live.)

Tomac’s third win of the 2020 season and Roczen’s third-place finish at Tampa gives Tomac a four-point advantage in what is essentially a wide-open title fight with three races on tap in Arlington.

And while it is still much too early to call this a two-man battle, Cooper Webb is 11 points back with Justin Barcia 20 points out and Adam Cianciarulo 27 points in arrears – and all three cannot afford to lose any ground this week.

Tomac has the momentum. He allowed the field to get a jump after finishing seventh at Anaheim in the season opener, but finished fourth or better in the remaining events.

Roczen also got off to a slow start in Anaheim 1 with a sixth-place finish. He seemed to have a firm grasp on the red plate with four consecutive podium finishes until he slipped to sixth for a second time at San Diego.

Webb is coming into his own with three consecutive podiums in the last three events. If not for a 12th at St. Louis, he would be in immediate contention for the red plate.

This week is the second Triple Crown race of the season and Roczen hopes he has the same success as he did at Glendale. He won all three Mains that weekend and easily walked away with the overall victory. Tomac finished 2-2-3 for second overall. It is going to be imperative that a rider takes the early lead.

Blake Baggett qualified for last week’s Main, but chose to sit it out after experiencing sever muscle spasms. He will ride in Arlington.

Henry Miller will return to riding at Arlington after breaking a scapula in Australia.

Subscribe to the Supercross Pass for complete qualification and race coverage of the 2020 season.

For the third time in his career, Shane McElrath started the season with a victory. He won the season-opener in 2017 and 2018 in the West division at Anaheim, but failed to lock down a 250 title. His seventh career win moved him to 25th on the chart, however, with Travis Pastrana, Trey Canard, and a host of others.

Chase Sexton got his title hunt off to a strong start last week as well. He finished second to earn his 10th podium in 19 starts, but he will be hungry for a win. Despite the fact that he won last year’s 250 West championship, he has only one race victory to his credit.

Last week, Jeremy Martin looked like he had not been off his bike for more than a year. Returning from a 2018 injury, Martin snagged a podium finish in his first race back.

Schedule:

Qualifying: 1 p.m. on NBC Sports Gold
Race: 8:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Gold and NBCSN

Last Week:

Eli Tomac beat Cooper Webb and Ken Roczen in the 450 class.
Shane McElrath beat Chase Sexton and Jeremy Martin in the 250 class.

Last Dallas race (February, 2019):

Cooper Webb beat Ken Roczen and Marvin Musquin in the 450 class.
Austin Forkner beat Justin Cooper and Chase Sexton in the 250 class.

Points Leaders

450s:
Eli Tomac (155)
Ken Roczen (151)
Cooper Webb (144)
Justin Barcia (135)
Adam Cianciarulo (128)

250 West:
Dylan Ferrandis (135)
Justin Cooper (128)
Austin Forkner (122)
Brandon Hartranft (110)
Alex Martin (98)

250 East:
Shane McElrath (26)
Chase Sexton (23)
Jeremy Martin (21)
Garrett Marchbanks (19)
Jordon Smith (18)

Wins

450

(3) Eli Tomac (Anaheim 2, Oakland and Tampa)
(2) Ken Roczen (St. Louis and Glendale)
(1) Justin Barcia (Anaheim 1)
(1) Cooper Webb (San Diego)

250 West

(3) Dylan Ferrandis (Anaheim 2, Oakland, and San Diego)
(2) Austin Forkner (St. Louis and Glendale)
(1) Justin Cooper (Anaheim 1)

250 East

(1) Shane McElrath (Tampa)

Top-5s

450

(6) Eli Tomac
(6) Cooper Webb
(5) Jason Anderson
(5) Ken Roczen
(5) Justin Barcia
(3) Adam Cianciarulo
(2) Zach Osborne
(2) Blake Baggett
(1) Justin Hill

250 West

(5) Dylan Ferrandis
(5) Austin Forkner
(5) Justin Cooper
(4) Michael Mosiman
(4) Brandon Hartranft
(3) Alex Martin
(1) Christian Craig
(1) Jett Lawrence
(1) Jacob Hayes
(1) Luke Clout

250 East

(1) Shane McElrath
(1) Chase Sexton
(1) Jeremy Martin
(1) Garrett Marchbanks
(1) Jordon Smith

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