Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing announced today that veteran driver Oriol Servia will return to the team for the 2017 Indianapolis 500, with the hope of adding more races during the Verizon IndyCar Series season.
Servia has competed for the team co-owned by Bobby Rahal, David Letterman and Mike Lanigan in three previous Indy 500s (2009, 2014, 2015), as well as three other races in 2014. If the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 28 is Servia’s next start, it will be the 200th in an Indy car career that began in 2000.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be back with Bobby, Mike and my second father, Mr. Letterman, for the 2017 Indy 500,” said Servia, 42. “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 (Rahal) 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 2017 Indianapolis 500 will be Servia’s ninth in the famed race and fourth with RLL. His best finish was fourth in 2012 with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and best start third in 2011 with Newman/Haas Racing.
A native of Pals, Catalonia, Spain, and the 1999 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires champion, Servia’s lone Indy car win came on the road course at Montreal in 2005. He drove in two 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series races, as a last-minute substitution for Will Power with Team Penske at St. Petersburg and for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Marotti Racing in the historic 100th Indy 500.
“Oriol is a talented driver who brings value beyond what takes place on the racetrack,” said RLL co-owner Bobby Rahal. “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.”
RLL also announced it had added veteran race engineer Tom German, who helped guide rookie Alexander Rossi to a stunning victory in this year’s Indianapolis 500, as an engineering consultant. German started as a tire engineer for Firestone Racing in 1992 before spending three years with Patrick Racing. He joined Team Penske in 1997, ultimately holding the team’s top technical positions in both INDYCAR and NASCAR before leaving in 2011. He was the chief technical officer for Michael Waltrip Racing in NASCAR in 2013-14 before joining Andretti-Herta Autosport for the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
“We are very pleased to welcome Tom to our team,” Bobby Rahal said. “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.”