Oriol Servia has stated that he is searching for a seat in the 2019 Indianapolis 500 after it has become apparent that he is set to be replaced at Scuderia Corsa. The team, who made their IndyCar debut in the famous race this year, are set to be affiliating with Ed Carpenter Racing for next year with Ed Jones as their driver.
The news of the deal between Scuderia Corsa and ECR is set to be announced this week. With the speculation ramping up as the deal came closer to fruition, Servia heard the news and began his search for a new team. The Spanish driver admitted that he did not have any money to bring to a team and that the news of his potential replacement hurt him.
“I heard the same thing and I know they [Scuderia Corsa] were looking for money and I don’t have any,” Servia said in an interview with RACER.
“It hurts a little because I was hoping what we did would turn into something bigger next season but I’ve been around and I understand how things work. It was nice to have them when I went looking for a sponsor, so I’m not sure where that leaves me. But I’ll be at Indianapolis looking for a ride and I still have hope I can win that race.”
Scuderia Corsa, a powerhouse in endurance racing series such as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, made their single-seater and IndyCar racing debut earlier this year when they entered the Indianapolis 500. The squad allied with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for the venture, with Servia taking the wheel of the #64 car for the month of May.
Throughout the build-up to the famous race, Servia and Scuderia Corsa genuinely looked to be the stronger package than RLLR’s duo of Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato. Servia drove a clean race and stayed out of trouble for the opening stages, but he soon found himself right in contention for the victory as the laps ticked down.
Servia was one of a number of drivers who made a late-race strategy gamble to try and score a shock victory. Together with Stefan Wilson and Jack Harvey, the trio tried to make it to the end with one less pit-stop than the rest of the field.
Sadly for the trio, the strategy would fail to pay off. All three would have to pit right at the end of the race for fuel, leaving the road open for a hard-charging Will Power to take an emotional victory.
After falling short of the victory due to his late pit-stop, Servia would come home in seventeenth place in the race. Despite the obvious disappointment of having had a chance of winning slip through his fingers, Oriol stated post-race that he was “proud of everyone” at Scuderia Corsa and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, explaining that it was tough for a one-race team to compete against the full-time entrants.
“I am really proud of the whole effort,” Servia said back in May, “When you come as a one-race team, it is really hard to beat the guys that are [running] full season so just doing it for your-run-for-the-money like we did is really great. It was great running up front. It showed we had a good speed, great passes, and restarts. We took a risk on the strategy and it almost worked.
“I am very proud of everyone. Everyone at RLL [Rahal Lanigan Letterman Racing] and Scuderia Corsa was here to win and we showed that we really went for it.”
Despite coming within a fuel drops of fuel of taking an incredible win at Indianapolis, it looks as though Scuderia Corsa’s new deal with Ed Carpenter Racing will leave Servia out in the cold. With Ed Jones set to take his spot, Servia will be hoping that his past achievements will be enough to land him another shot at taking an Indy 500 victory. The forty-four-year-old has started the race ten times and has taken a best result of fourth place, but as he approaches the end of his career, he will be wanting to cap it all off with an incredible victory at the world famous speedway.
As of now, it is not known what team could field Servia in the 2019 Indy 500, however, he definitely has a chance of making the field. The Indy 500 is unquestionably the biggest race of the IndyCar calendar and one of the biggest races in the world. Due to this, a number of the teams choose to field extra cars in the race. Some teams, such Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and others, choose to only race in the Indy 500 each year. With an increased entry list frequently over thirty-three cars, there is a strong chance that a team could choose Servia based on his experience of the event.
The 2019 IndyCar Series will kick off with the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, March 10. The 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 will take place later in the season on Sunday, May 26.