Posted: Thu April 25, 2013 9:19PM; Updated: Thu April 25, 2013 9:19PM

Servia is told DRR will close after Indy 500

Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
Unless he can find sponsorship, Oriol Servia will find his race team closing for the second time in two years.
Unless he can find sponsorship, Oriol Servia will find his race team closing for the second time in two years.
LEON BENNETT/Getty Images

For the second time in two years, Oriol Servia has been told his race team is closing.

Dennis Reinbold told Panther DRR employees and Servia this week he and co-owner Robbie Buhl will have to close the IndyCar Series team after next month's Indianapolis 500 if sponsorship isn't found.

The decision was first reported Thursday night by Speed.com and confirmed to The Associated Press by Servia.

"I didn't see it coming," Servia said. "I knew we were short on sponsorship money, but we haven't missed a single test. We haven't skipped anything."

Servia joined the team prior to the 2012 season after Newman-Haas Racing closed its doors during the offseason because of a lack of sponsorship. The Spaniard had just finished a career-best fourth in the IndyCar standings with three podium finishes, and wasn't told the team was closing until after he'd landed in Spain following a December visit with management.

The Newman-Haas closing was stunning, but Servia had several months to put together a new deal.

Now the news of DRR's predicament has him in a much more precarious situation. There are no open rides in IndyCar - particularly midseason - and with a commitment to DRR, Servia hadn't even been looking at other opportunities.

It's particularly troubling because of the turnaround DRR has made in the past year.

Saddled with a Lotus engine at the start of last year, the team struggled until it aligned with Panther Racing in May and switched to Chevrolet. Servia, with his new engine, drove to a fourth-place finish in the Indianapolis 500. He went on to score three more top-fives, and one seventh-place finish, before the season ended.

It gave the team high hopes for this year, particularly after Servia's sixth-place finish on Sunday at Long Beach.

"I was so happy with the car at Long Beach, so happy. We were making such progress," Servia said. "I didn't see any shortages. I figured maybe we'd skip some testing in the second half of the season. But never this.

"Unless a miracle happens, I don't see how we'll continue the same."

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

SI Videos
Videos from the Web
 
SI.com
Hot Topics: NBA Playoffs NHL Playoffs Chris Johnson Jameis Winston NFL Draft Michael Sam Aldon Smith
TM & © 2014 Time Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved. Terms under which this service is provided to you. Read our privacy guidelines and ad choices.
SI CoverRead All ArticlesBuy Cover Reprint