Servia lands ride for 2012

1/17/2012 10:47:33 AM

Servia finished fourth in IndyCar points last year, driving for Newman/Haas Racing. The 37-year-old Spaniard posted 11 top-10 finishes during the season, including second-place runs at New Hampshire and Baltimore.

This past season, Servia led all drivers in laps completed (2,103 of 2,011) and was the only driver to finish top-10 in the first five races. He was also one of three drivers who ran at the finish in all 17 races.

Servia lost his ride with Newman/Haas last month when the team ceased its operations for at least the upcoming season.

In 2011, Justin Wilson and Ana Beatriz were the principle drivers for DRR, which is co-owned by Dennis Reinbold and Robbie Buhl. Wilson's season was curtailed in August when he sustained injuries in a practice crash at Mid- Ohio.

"DRR is a team that I raced against since 2008, and they've always shown to be very professional at the racetrack," Servia said in a team statement. "Although I knew the owners, I didn't know them very well, to be honest. Before signing with the team, like everybody else, I did my research, and I couldn't find one individual that didn't speak highly of Dennis or Robbie, which gave me a lot of confidence.

"I went to the team's sponsor summit last week and met all of their partners that they have been involved with for many, many years, which was another clear sign that they are good people."

Servia said that he is eager to begin pre-season testing and debut DRR's new DW12 car in the March 25 IndyCar season-opening race in St. Petersburg, Florida. DRR is one of the Lotus-partner teams in IndyCar this year.

"With a new engine, new chassis and a revamped engineering department, we believe it is crucial to have a highly talented veteran driver to be able to develop these new components," Reinbold said. "Oriol has always been a smart driver and has always put himself and his team in a position to win races. We are going to have to be well-prepared to take advantage of his abilities and we look forward to the challenge."

DRR also noted in its news release that it "continues to work towards a second full-time entry for the 2012 season."