Servia & Hinchcliffe Complete First Day of Sebring Test for Newman/Haas SEBRING, Fla. – Newman/Haas Racing (NHR) completed the first of a two day test at the 1.65-mile Sebring International Raceway road course today. Oriol Servia and James Hinchcliffe handled testing duties. Hinchcliffe completed his first laps behind the wheel of an Indy car while Servia returned to the cockpit of an Indy car for the first time since he finished fourth at Twin Ring Motegi for NHR in 2009.
The team completed fewer laps than anticipated due to cool temperatures and high winds that ranged from 20-40 mph. Servia completed 63 trouble-free laps with a best lap time of 54.0 while Hinchcliffe quickly adapted to the Honda/Dallara/Firestone package and completed 46 trouble-free laps with a best lap time of 54.6. The forecast for Tuesday is slightly warmer with reduced winds.
“I am smiling because I haven’t been in a car in a while and it reminded my how much I love it,” said Servia who is from Catalonia, Spain. “I’m also smiling because we were able to try a lot of big changes in the setup that we wanted answers on and got some of them despite the super cold and windy conditions and that’s good. We’re excited to get back at it tomorrow and find the rest of the answers. It’s supposed to be less windy. I’m very happy with how the day went. Newman/Haas Racing worked hard like they always do. I’m very happy to be back and continue working.”
“I think the first day went very well,” added Toronto native Hinchcliffe, 24. “Today’s main focus was to get comfortable in the car and get used to the faster speeds of an Indy car. The conditions weren’t super ideal with it being cold and windy but I think we coped with it well and got some good miles in. It was a great opportunity for me to work with the engineers and start building a relationship there and to also work with Oriol who is a great guy for me to learn from. For sure we had a successful day and I’m looking forward to making more progress tomorrow.”
The 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series (IICS) season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will take place March 25-27. NHR took their first IICS victory, and 106th overall, in the event in 2008 with Graham Rahal behind the wheel.
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