Oriol Servia has found a ride for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing announced today that Servia will return to the team for the 2017 race, and hopes to add more races throughout the season. Team owner Bobby Rahal told Motorsport that his goal is to run this second car for the entire season, but that depends on sponsorship. This will be Servia’s ninth Indy 500, and his fourth with RLL.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be back with Bobby, Mike and my second father Mr. Letterman for the 2017 Indy 500,” Oriol said. “We’ve done it before and had some success but both the team and myself are only doing this because we feel we can contend for the win together. Since Day 1 in 2009, working with Graham as a teammate has been great and now at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, it just feels like a family. The team has been the best Honda entry the past two years and the objective would be to continue to make the team even better in order to fight the multi car teams at Indy and also hopefully for the entire season. We feel that together we can do that. I can’t wait to get started. We plan to go for the win at the Indy 500 and at as many other races as we can.”
The Spaniard competed in four events with RLL during the 2014 season. He finished 11th in the Indy 500, 12th in the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, and also ran at Barber. He had a season-best 7th place finish at Long Beach.
“Oriol is a talented driver who brings value beyond what takes place on the race track,” said Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with CBS Late Show host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan. “His race craft is that of a veteran obviously but more important than that is his ability to develop the race car and as a one car team fighting the multi-car teams the last few years, that is a big benefit. We have a great chemistry at our team and Oriol fits nicely into our program.”
It was an eventful day for the RLL Racing organization, as they had another major addition to the team to announce.
Veteran race engineer Tom German has accepted the position of engineering consultant, in what was described as a multi-year deal with the team. German has an incredible resume, which includes championships with Team Penske in both the Verizon IndyCar Series, and NASCAR. He also has been a major part of five Indianapolis 500 victories, including last year’s 100th Running with Alexander Rossi.
“We are very pleased to welcome Tom to our team.” said Rahal. “His record speaks volumes and I have no doubt having Tom work in conjunction with Eddie Jones, Martin Pare, Mike Talbott and Alex Farina will generate much success for all of our drivers, now and in the future.” German will serve as race engineer for the 42-year old Seriva.
“I have known Mr. Rahal for a number of years and am impressed with his ability to attract and retain quality people,” German said. “This vision is yielding results; Graham and the team have led the Honda contingent for the past two seasons and established themselves as championship contenders. I appreciate the opportunity to join the team.”
The RLL Racing organization has quietly built up quite an empire. Graham Rahal has finished in the top-five of the championship in each of the last two seasons. All the pieces appear to be in place for a third consecutive run for the title. The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season kicks off on the streets of St Petersburg on March 12.