CHAMPCAR/CART: Fontana: Patrick Racing Friday report

Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia 15th on combined speed charts after first day of practice for The 500. FONTANA, CALIFORNIA -- FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2002 -- Round ...

Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia 15th on combined speed charts after first day of practice for The 500.

FONTANA, CALIFORNIA -- FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2002 -- Round #18 of the 2002 FedEx Championship Series - Visteon/Patrick Racing driver Oriol Servia is 15th on the combined speed charts after the first day of practice for The 500 presented by Toyota at California Speedway in Fontana, California.

Servia, behind the wheel of the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing entry, with Toyota power and Bridgestone tires, was tenth on the practice report following the 90-minute morning session with a fast time of 31.723 seconds (230.256 mph) on the two-mile superspeedway oval. In the afternoon practice, which ran for 75 minutes, the team experimented with a variety of setups. Unfortunately, none of them improved the car. Servia's quick time in the second practice was 32.166 seconds (227.084 mph) placing him 17th on the afternoon speed charts. However, because of his fast lap in the morning session he ended up 15th on the combined practice report.

"I was quite happy with the Visteon/Patrick Racing car in the morning session. We were not extremely quick, but I was very happy with the way the car handled," Servia began. "In the afternoon session we had a funny balance where the car has a lot of understeer and pushes a lot in the middle of the corner, but then on the exit it has oversteer and is loose. That is exactly the situation you do not want. You want one of the two so you can go in one direction or the other. When you have both problems in different parts of the turn, it makes it difficult to fix because as you correct one problem it makes the other one worse," he explained. "The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team has to sit down and review the data and find out what is causing this combination of problems. We need to bring the car together and I am confident that we will before qualifying tomorrow," Servia concluded.

Servia is competing in his 52nd career CART event, 12th of the 2002 FedEx Championship Series season, ninth for Visteon/Patrick Racing and third at California Speedway. He has finished in the points in six of the 11 races he has contested this year and in the top-ten four times with a best showing of fourth at the Rockingham 500 in Corby, England. The 28-year-old native of Pals, Catalonia, Spain is 19th in the point's standings with 30 points. In his two previous races at California Speedway Servia's best starting position is 16th, in 2000 and his best finish is 11th last year.

Patrick Racing will be making its 11th start at California Speedway where they have enjoyed a tremendous amount of success since its opening in 1997. In their previous ten starts the team has qualified in the top-ten four times including a pole by Scott Pruett in 1998. However, it is in the race where Patrick Racing has really shined finishing in the points seven times, the top-ten five times, the top-five four times and winning once, in 1999 with Adrian Fernandez.

Servia has qualified in the top-ten in two of eleven attempts this year and two of eight since joining Visteon/Patrick Racing. His best starting position is ninth achieved at Australia and Elkhart Lake. Visteon/Patrick Racing has qualified in the top-ten seven times in 17 races this season.

The 500 presented by Toyota will be televised live on Sunday, November 3 from 12:30 - 4:00 PM (PT) on Speed Channel. The pre-race show will air from 12:00 - 12:30 PM (PT). Speed Channel will also televise Friday, November 1, practice live from 2:00 - 3:30 PM (PT), CART Friday Night from 7:30 - 8:00 PM (PT) and Saturday, November 2, qualifying live from 11:30 - 1:00 PM (PT).

For background, statistical information, releases, notes, quotes plus updates on race weekends, go to (www.patrickracing.com

-pr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Oriol Servia , Scott Pruett