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?”
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