May 1, 2012
Heat Index looks at the biggest mover in the previous IZOD IndyCar Series race.
Oriol Servia has been on the move in the first four races this season. Now all he has to do is earn a decent qualifying position to be a podium contender.
Servia gained 12 positions relative to his starting spot in the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle to finish a season-best 11th. Over the four races, he's advanced 39 spots.
The rundown (all races with 26-car fields):
St. Petersburg -- Started 23, finished 16
Barber -- Started 26, finished 13
Long Beach -- Started 23, finished 16
Brazil -- Started 23, finished 11
"Life, especially in racing, is very interesting," said Servia, who was driving the No. 22 WIX Filters car for Lotus DRR that received a fresh engine after qualifications. "We almost didn't make the start of the race. The guys did an amazing job. They were working until the last second putting the engine together and we didn't think that we were going to make it.
"Somehow we picked up the best result of the year and we'll take it. The engine got up and running, but it was definitely challenging as we lacked top speed on the straights, which made it difficult. I knew that I just had to survive and stay out of trouble. I was hoping to not get hit and we were lucky that didn't happen."
It was the final race of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing using the 2.2-liter, twin turbocharged V-6 engine supplied by Lotus through Engine Developments Ltd. Earlier in the week, the team and Group Lotus reached an amicable agreement to terminate the engine lease agreement. The team, which is in its 13th full-time season in the IZOD IndyCar Series, is expected to announce this week its engine plans for the Indianapolis 500 and the remainder of the season.
"We are now turning the new chapter," Servia said. "This rough beginning of the season has helped us to mature together. We've grown a lot, very fast and it will be a great way to proceed for the rest of the season."