2013 IICS Barber Motorsports Park Q&A with Team Chevy Driver Oriol ServiaPress Release
ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 22 PANTHER DREYER AND REINBOLD RACING CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Barber Motorsports Park and discussed starting the season with Chevrolet, working with JR Hildebrand and other topics.
ON STARTING THE SEASON KNOWING THE POWER IN YOUR CAR: “It really is the biggest difference for us. The way we approached last year, we had a new car like everybody else, but we had really no testing to learn the car. We thrown into the lions a little bit without really knowing the weapons we had and it showed. It was a really, really tough start to the season and it was only when we got Chevy for the first time in Indy that we obviously had a great race. We actually had two or three good races then. We had probably the worst qualifying record I ever had in my career and in defense of the team and myself, we were just learning every weekend a little bit about the car. We didn’t have testing like I said. The weight distribution is quite different and was quite different between the two engines. The power delivery as you can imagine was very different. Even the little we had learned in the Lotus didn’t really translate much. It was tough. We’re super excited because we’re continuing together and that is the first time that has happened to me since 1999 to be two years in a row with the same team so that’s huge. Also because we feel last year we just did what we could, adapting quickly, but we didn’t have a proper pre-season like we had this year. I think we are a lot better prepared plus when we got the Chevy we also started to work together with Panther, but because it started in the middle of the season it was never really totally fluid like it should have. Now that we have half of last season together, the whole off-season we are finally working like a two-car team. Honestly, I couldn’t be more excited to start a season.”
WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR THIS SEASON? OBVIOUSLY TO QUALIFY BETTER?: “Yeah, exactly. First we were very proud saying, ‘We’re passing more cars on track than anybody.’ Until it got to the point where it started that we got the record in the series, but it also shows how bad we were starting. We are starting to be a bit more quiet about that. I myself have very high expectations just because as you guys know, I’ve been around the series for quite a while and I feel like I’m getting better. It’s just tough to put yourself in a good position where you are with a team that can give you the means that you need to go for the win every weekend. I think what these guys proved last year, obviously Andretti is a great team and a powerhouse also, but if you can beat Penske and Ganassi then you are doing an awesome job. I think that motivates teams like us that have been getting better, but we are not yet at the level of those two guys. If we focus on doing everything in our hands perfect then we don’t need anything else. We don’t need any tools we don’t have, we have everything we need we just really need to fine tune every weekend and work hard and it’s doable. I’m at a point in my career that I just really want to win races, I want to win the 500 — it’s a race that I’ve loved always like everybody, but I feel it fits me very well. The last two seasons I had great runs and started on the front row in 2011 and finishing sixth. Last year being almost a lap down until 20 laps to go because we had a flat tire and was finishing fourth. It’s just a race that I love and as I said it fits me. The team obviously being from there and having the past they had there, they are also very excited. We want to win races, but we are obviously focusing on the 500 as something for my mental health it would be awesome to win.”
ARE THERE SIMILAR DRIVING STYLES BETWEEN YOU AND JR HILDEBRAND AND DO YOU SWAP SETUP CHANGES?: “I think we are very similar. We give very similar feedback. The truth is that last year we were sharing all the information, but we were starting with complete different setups just because they had their learning, we had our learning and we got to get in the middle so we were sharing everything, but my engineers were working on the setup through the week and on Thursday they would send them our setup and they would do the same. It was complete transparency, but it’s not like we were working together like my team and his team and okay let’s see what we do. That really never happened. That’s a big difference this year, especially because Tino Belli (technical director) his position is on top of both, it’s more like working like a two-car team where we’re going to be starting much similar on setups and then we can really compare driving styles. I’d say that whenever we had a similar car we were within a tenth of each other and giving very, very similar feedback, which you need to be competitive. I keep saying the reason why (Will) Power is the fastest man in the world or the paddock really is because for the last two years had two guys that only beat him a couple times in qualifying, but I’m sure he was picking up a tenth from Helio (Castroneves) and a tenth from Ryan (Briscoe) in the different corners and that’s how a guy that is already fast becomes super fast. That’s where I think we can help each other with JR (Hildebrand) and help out our team.”
ARE BOTH CARS IN THE SAME RACE SHOP?: “Actually my car is in my shop and his car is in his shop and the engineers are actually spending time in both shops. But the actual car and mechanics are in my shop. Last year we had to do what we had to do, but it was a pity because I don’t know if you guys have come to the shop, I’ve been to many, many teams and for me it is the nicest IndyCar shop there is. I’m happy that my guys are able to work from there.”
IS THERE ANOTHER TRACK OTHER THAN INDY THAT YOU WANT TO WIN?: “You know, I’ve been doing this for so long that I love the Long Beach race and I always have and have had good results there. I’ve always liked it and I now live there also. The race track itself and I’ve always been open about it, I don’t think it’s anything special. It’s kind of like boring, but after you’ve done it so much and you really try to be good at it in every corner, it’s just what makes you addicted to it. Just turn nine, turn three — it’s just all the corners. It’s difficult in fighting it so much and you are getting better at it and you end up liking it. It’s like anything else. I don’t have any other favorites, I really enjoy all of them and at the same time I don’t have one that I hate. I used to love a race track that we don’t go to anymore, which is Elkhart Lake and Surfer’s Paradise. Hopefully, we will come back to both.”
HAVE YOU HEARD MUCH ABOUT POCONO?: “No, but I’m looking forward to it. I’ve only seen it, I’ve never driven around it, but I’ve seen a lot of NASCAR races there and it is one of my favorites to watch. I’m sure our cars are going to be very different than they are there, but I am looking forward to Pocono. I may be completely off, but it reminds me a little bit of the track in Germany, has a similar like three corners, fast, flat, three corners and I enjoy that a lot. I’m looking forward to our first test there.”
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
Source: Team Chevy, Press Release
Article Tags: Barber Motorsports Park, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, IICS, IndyCar, IZOD, IZOD IndyCar Series, No. 22 Panther DDR Chevrolet, Oriol Servia, Panther DDR