As the last driver to have been confirmed for an Indy 500 entry this year, Oriol Servia is feeling good about his new alliance with MotoGator Team Stange Racing, the outfit that is running his No. 77 Honda in partnership with Arrow SPM. But he’s even more excited about where it might lead.
Despite the lateness of Servia’s deal, which was only confirmed last Monday, he put the car onto the ninth row of the grid for Sunday’s race for what will be his 12th Indy 500 start. If things go to plan, it will be the first of many for Team Strange in IndyCar, with team owner John Stange Jr. having confirmed a desire to run a six-race program in tandem with Servia next season ahead of a full-time entry in 2021.
So Servia – an almost 20-year veteran at 44 and having only run limited IndyCar programs since 2012 – finds himself looking at a rare opportunity for extended employment.
“Yeah, I don’t think that’s ever happened in my career,” he said. “It feels good. Listen, I’ve known John since 2004, he was a sponsor at Coyne when I was there, and we’ve always kept in touch. He’s a guy that’s always been in racing. He’s not one of these guys that just lands as a sponsor and has never been around the track – even his dad was in racing. He knows what we are talking about, he knows IndyCar. And we want to grow the brand – MotoGator is the perfect timing, it’s just the new brand, and he wants to be in IndyCar – they love IndyCar.
“So, yeah, we want to start on the right foot on the 26th, give them a great experience, win this race, and that’s definitely going to help raise the budget for next year.”
Stange plans to expand his program in alignment with an existing team, and while options remain open, Servia said that he’s been impressed by the experience of having worked alongside Arrow SPM over the past fortnight.
“In terms of who could we partner up with, I have to say only good things about Arrow SPM so far,” he said. “They work so well as a team, and I know a lot of engineers, and the ownership has been absolutely wonderful to work with. So I guess we’ll see how the month goes and how we can align ourselves, but I couldn’t be more pleased.”