CHAMPCAR/CART: Cleveland: PKV Racing preview

PKV RACING LOOKING TO MOVE UP IN THE STANDINGS THIS WEEKEND AT THE CHAMP CAR GRAND PRIX OF CLEVELAND INDIANAPOLIS, IN - - JUNE 23, 2006 - - PKV Racing will be looking to move up in the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered...

PKV RACING LOOKING TO MOVE UP IN THE STANDINGS THIS WEEKEND AT THE CHAMP CAR GRAND PRIX OF CLEVELAND

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - - JUNE 23, 2006 - - PKV Racing will be looking to move up in the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford Championship standings with a solid performance this weekend at the Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland, presented by U. S. Bank, on the Burke Lakefront Airport temporary street circuit in Cleveland, Ohio.

Oriol Servia, #6 Gulfsteam -- PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone, who moved into the top-10 in the points race for the first time this year with his third consecutive top-10 finish, a 10th place showing last weekend in Portland, will be looking to add to a record in Cleveland that has seen him finish in the top-six the last three years including a career high third last year. Meanwhile, Katherine Legge, #20 Bell Micro -- PKV Racing Ford Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone, who also had a solid race in Portland placing 13th, will be trying to take over the top spot in the rookie of the year race and move back into the top-10 in the championship race.

Servia, who will be making his 104th career Champ Car start, sixth for PKV Racing and sixth in Cleveland, has qualified in the top-10 in four of the five races this season, seventh twice (Milwaukee and Monterrey, Mexico) and eighth twice (Long Beach and Houston). He has finished in the top-10 three times including the last three in a row placing eighth in Monterrey and fifth in Milwaukee to go with the 10th place showing in Portland. After starting the season as the innocent victim of a first lap incident at Long Beach, which placed him last in the championship race, Servia has steadily climbed the standings and is now tied for 10th with 59 points. He is listed 11th behind Bruno Junqueira who owns a fourth place finish to Servia's fifth in the tie-breaker.

In five previous races in Cleveland, the 31-year-old Catalunyan has qualified in the top-10 twice with a best starting position of fourth in 2003. He has finished in the top-six three times starting with a sixth place showing in 2003, followed by a fourth in 2004 and culminating with a podium finish last year when he finish third and scored the races fastest lap.

"The Gulfstream -- PKV Racing team has been put the test so far this year," Servia said. "In the first two races we had some back luck than last weekend in Portland we had a couple of setbacks. But, the team has worked very hard and done a great job. We have fought hard in the races and scored some valuable championship points in the last three races. The team just needs to keep working and the results will come."

Commenting on the Cleveland race Servia said, "I have had some good results in Cleveland the last three years and it is a track that PKV Racing has done well on. Hopefully, we can have another good performance there and move up in the standings."

Servia, who is in his seventh Champ Car season has earned 54 top-ten finishes including 26 top-five showings, 12 podium performances and one victory (Montreal 2005). The resident of Miami, Florida who has finished in the top-10 in the standings the last three years, is coming off his best Champ Car season after placing second last year.

Legge, who is in her first Champ Car season, will be making her sixth Champ Car start and first in Cleveland (although she raced there twice last year in the Atlantic Championship Series starting fifth and finishing 16th in the first race and starting fourth and finishing fifth in the second).

The 25-year-old Brit has qualified in the top-10 once this season, a career high eighth in Milwaukee and finished in the top-10 twice placing a season, and career, high sixth at Milwaukee and eighth in her Champ Car debut at Long Beach. Legge is currently 13th in the championship standings with 57 points. The resident of Indianapolis, Indiana remains second in the Champ Car rookie points, but now trails Dan Clarke by one point, 58-57 (she came in trailing Will Power by one point, 50-49).

"I am looking forward to racing in Cleveland," Legge said. "It is like a home race for me because I lived her last year when I drove in the Atlantic Series for Polestar. The track is, obviously, unusual. It is a temporary circuit, but because it is on an airport runway it is more like a permanent road course. The biggest thing is turn one at the start of the race. You really have to be patient and make sure you make it through that first corner."

Legge, who became the first female to start a Champ Car/CART race since Lyn St. James at Michigan in 1995, when she made her Champ Car debut at Long Beach, has established a number of Series records already this season. In Milwaukee, she became the first female to lead a race when she held the top spot for 12 laps in her oval debut. In addition, her sixth place finish at Milwaukee set a new Series high for a female (her eighth place showing in Long Beach gives her two best finishes) surpassing a ninth place finish by Janet Guthrie at the 1978 Indianapolis 500. Legge had a standout rookie season in the Atlantic Championship Series in 2005 winning three races in route to a third place finish in the standings. Her win in her debut Atlantic event at Long Beach made her the first woman to win a major open-wheel race in North America.

PKV Racing will be making its sixth and seventh starts in four racings at Cleveland. The team has qualified in the top-10 three times with a best starting position of second by Cristiano da Matta last year. They have finished in the top-10 three times with a best showing of fifth by Jimmy Vasser in 2004.

The Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland presented by U. S. Bank, Round #6 of the 2006 Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, will be run June 23-25, on the temporary airport circuit at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, Ohio. The race will be broadcast live on CBS at 2:30 p.m. (ET).

-pkv

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Oriol Servia , Lyn St. James , Katherine Legge , Janet Guthrie , Will Power , Cristiano da Matta , Dan Clarke