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In a last-gasp deal, Rahal Letterman Racing will be running in the third and final qualifying session on Saturday ahead of the Indy 500 next weekend. Seemingly not competing in this year's event, the team announced on Thursday that it will infact be present at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Spaniard Oriol Servia at the wheel.
The squad had already commented earlier this year that it desired to race in this year's 500, despite not being able to compete in the IndyCar Series in 2009. Although 21st place for the start of the race will be the best the team can achieve from third qualifying, the 2004 victors remain optimistic.
"We have worked very hard all year in order to put this programme together for the Indianapolis 500," said team chief Bobby Rahal. "We feel like we have a package that will allow us to go to Indy and perform well. The experience, combined with a veteran talent like Oriol, should give us everything we need to be competitive throughout the event."
With former team KV Racing running with only a single car for Mario Moraes in this season's series, Servia - of Pals, on Spain's Costa Brava - found himself out of a drive for the championship this year. "Sometimes being stubborn is not such a bad thing," he said. "I had a great season last year and I feel I am at the top of my game. Although the season started without me having a ride I knew that, if I was patient enough, something good would happen.
"I'm really excited to announce this opportunity I have been given, to participate in the greatest race in the world and with one of the best teams in open wheel history; I have raced for many years against the Rahal Letterman team and it makes me very proud to be finally part of it."
Rahal Letterman Racing
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