Scuderia Corsa confirm 2019 Indy 500 return ahead of potential full-time entry

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Oriol Servia (ESP), 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series, Scuderia Corsa, Indianapolis 500
Credit: Walter Kuhn / Courtesy of IndyCar

After making their Verizon IndyCar Series debut in last weekend’s 2018 Indianapolis 500Scuderia Corsa has confirmed that they will return to the race next year as they continue to evaluate whether or not to enter the series full-time. The team’s owner, Giacomo Mattioli, confirmed the news in an interview with RACER, where he would go on to state that competing in other races could be on the horizon too.

Previously known for their successes in championships such as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Scuderia Corsa made their single-seater racing debut last week after fielding the #67 Honda in partnership with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

Indy 500 veteran Oriol Servia drove the car in the month of May and featured in the top ten throughout the week of practice before qualifying. Servia managed to secure a spot in the show on “Bump Day” and then followed that up by qualifying twenty-sixth on the grid on “Pole Day”.

During the race, Servia ran solidly and kept out of trouble. Toward the end of the race, Servia and Scuderia Corsa found themselves running at the front of the field on an alternate fuel strategy. A caution put their strategy right on the cusp of working, but extreme fuel saving would still need to be performed if they wanted to make the finish.

On the race restart with seven laps to go, Servia led the way, but only briefly. Stefan Wilson and Jack Harvey would slingshot their way past Oriol into turn one, with eventual race winner Will Power overtaking him a few laps later. Ultimately, the strategy would not pay off, with Servia, Wilson and Harvey all having to pit for fuel with five laps to go, but Scuderia Corsa’s team owner Mattioli said that the experience was “incredible” nonetheless.

“We gave it a try!” Mattioli told RACER, “It’s been a very exciting month with the Bump Day and the qualifying experience, the race, the last 25 laps being in the hunt. At one point, we believed we could do well, even though Chevy was stronger. It was incredible.”

After their solid run on their first attempt, Mattioli confirmed that they would be intending to return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 2019 Indianapolis 500. He also stated that the team’s goal was to eventually cut their ties with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing so that they could run the whole entry by themselves.

“We’re committing to the Indy 500 next year, and we’re trying to put a program together for next year,” Mattioli said. “We take our time, we study, we observe, and it was a very good learning experience. We’ll do things differently next time around. Definitely back for the Indy 500, and more races, we will see.”

“Ultimately, we’ll run it with Scuderia Corsa,” he went on to add, regarding his hopes to run a full-time entry without aid from Rahal, “Next year, the year after next, my intention — my program is three years the Indy 500, and that’s what we started this with in mind to develop our portfolio. There’s a real possibility for full-time next year. It’s coming up quickly, we will evaluate all the options possible, and will make a decision. Ultimately, we want Scuderia Corsa to run the car.”

Speculation has also begun to circulate that Scuderia Corsa could perhaps join up with long-term partners Ferrari, by bringing to manufacturer into IndyCar as an engine supplier. This follows a visit to Indianapolis made by Ferrari’s CEO Sergio Marchionne last week. When asked, Mattioli would simply tease: “I’ve heard crazier things, but it’s not so crazy.”

The next action for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series takes place tomorrow with the first of two races that make up the 2018 Duel in Detroit.

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Reporter from the East of England. Covering the NTT IndyCar Series for The Checkered Flag. Also an eSports racing driver on iRacing.
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