Newman/Haas buoyed by strong test

Potential Newman/Haas drivers Oriol Servia and James Hinchcliffe were ecstatic to continue the team's resurgent test form on day two at Barber Motorsports Park

Newman/Haas buoyed by strong test

The duo have not yet concluded deals with the multiple Champ Car title-winning team, but have tested for it repeatedly during the winter and are clear favourites for the 2011 seats.

Having been in the midfield on Monday as he shook off rustiness accumulated during his year away from the series, Servia was thrilled to take fifth place - behind only the three Penske drivers and Ganassi's Scott Dixon - in the final testing times.

"I'm so happy! Obviously it's great to be in the top five, but I'm just so happy," said the Spaniard. "When you are running in the top five, there is a reason. I felt good in the car, with the team.

"I was a blast when I looked at the scoring board an hour before the end and we were one and two. That's the way Newman/Haas has always been, and that's the way it has to be and it just felt great that we got there with two days of testing.

"There is still a lot to come from myself and the car. We progressed big stages to get where we are and there is still more. I feel very happy; everybody is super-motivated.

"When you are a year out of the car, of course you still think you can drive but it is just so great knowing it is true."

Hinchcliffe backed up his strong Monday form with seventh place yesterday, and was relieved that his strong first day had not been a one-off.

"I was personally a little surprised with the pace we had yesterday; I wasn't quite expecting it," he admitted at the end of Tuesday's session. "I woke up this morning hoping it wasn't some sort of flash in the pan."

Newman/Haas has not won a race since Justin Wilson's triumph in Detroit in 2008, and had a difficult 2010 season with full-season driver Hideki Mutoh only 18th in the championship and Graham Rahal only able to contest a part-season in which fifth in Toronto was his best result.

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