National Guard Panther Racing Driver Ends Up Sixth-Quick in Single-Lap Qualifications

WEST ALLIS, Wis. - (June 22, 2013) – National Guard Panther Racing driver Oriol Servia will start tomorrow’s Iowa Corn Indy 225 in the tenth position after advancing to the final qualification heat race of the evening. Servia automatically advanced to the third and final heat race of the evening after posting the sixth-fastest qualification speed during single-lap qualifications held earlier in the day.
“Tenth is definitely good for us, and you’ve seen the way things can go here with people going back and forth, so it’s not a bad place to start. Today we really accomplished what we wanted in the National Guard Chevy with a little bit of a race sim to see where the car is going to go. I felt very good in qualifying and in practice, we were just a little bit off (in the heat race) but that’s what this is good for; it gives us a chance to get it better for tomorrow.”

Servia posted a one-lap top speed of 183.021 mph, which secured the Spaniard the final of the six spots that were guaranteed a position in the final heat race. In the race itself, Servia was dealing with some understeer in the No. 4 Chevrolet but battled throughout the race with Scott Dixon, Takuma Sato and Graham Rahal. Ultimately the Panther driver concluded the race tenth overall, which secured his final starting position for tomorrow’s 250-lap event.

“Honestly, the car felt good it just had a little too much understeer, which is the better evil to have and to solve,” Oriol continued. “So I feel pretty good about tomorrow.”

The starting position matches Servia’s best career qualification effort at Iowa Speedway, equaling his starting position in 2008 while driving for KV Racing Technology.

Panther Racing’s Iowa Speedway Qualification History:
2012: JR Hildebrand, Started 12th (finished 22nd)
2011: JR Hildebrand, Started 4th (finished 4th)
2010: Dan Wheldon, Started 10th (finished 11th)
2009: Dan Wheldon, Started 6th (finished 4th)
2008: Vitor Meira, Started 12th (finished 15th)
2007: Vitor Meira, Started 13th (finished 9th)
2007: Kosuke Matsuura, Started 16th (15th)

Panther Makes Engineering Change, Tino Belli Moves to Race Engineer
Earlier this week Panther Racing parted ways with longtime Chief Engineer David Cripps, who was the team’s race engineer from 2004-05 and again from 2008 through last weekend’s race at Milwaukee. Technical director Tino Belli, who joined the team during the offseason, will assume the role of race engineer on the team’s No. 4 National Guard entry, which will be driven this weekend by Oriol Servia.

Race Broadcast Info:
The Iowa Corn Indy 250 will be broadcast live in ABC at 2:30 pm (ET), with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network, XM/Sirius Channel 211. Practice, qualifying and race coverage is also available on the IndyCar Mobile app from Verizon. -