Oriol Servia, a veteran of 202 Indy car races dating back to his rookie season in 2000, on Friday was named to the pace car driver team for the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Servia will start his new job immediately, serving as pace car driver for Saturday night’s Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix at ISM Raceway in Avondale, Arizona.
The 43-year-old Servia will join former IndyCar driver Sarah Fisher in splitting races on the 2018 schedule on the pace car driver team. Fisher has served as INDYCAR pace car driver since 2016.
“Sarah has done a great job for us but she was unavailable for all of the races,” said Jay Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations. “Oriol is a pro and was a pleasure to work with last year when we did our new car testing. He was a natural choice for this position. We’re thrilled to have him.”
His new role will not affect Servia from competing in the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 27. He will drive a third car for a partnership team between Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and successful sports car group Scuderia Corsa, alongside Graham Rahal and defending Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato.
“When they first came to me with this, I wasn’t sure how to respond,” Servia said of the pace car driver role. “I mean, I feel like I still have it, and I’m still racing at Indy, and I don’t feel like I’m that old. At the same time, it’s a great opportunity.”
Fisher began as a pace car driver in 2016, sharing duties with legendary racer and IndyCar champion and three-time Indy 500 winner Johnny Rutherford. Fisher then drove the pace car at every INDYCAR event in 2017.
“It’s an honor to be considered alongside Johnny Rutherford and Sarah Fisher,” Servia said. “It’s an incredible opportunity to give back to Indy car racing and connect with fans.”