CHAMPCAR/CART: Laguna Seca: Patrick Racing race report

Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia finishes sixth at Grand Prix of Monterey. MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA -- SUNDAY, JUNE 15, 2003 -- Round ...

Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia finishes sixth at Grand Prix of Monterey.

MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA -- SUNDAY, JUNE 15, 2003 -- Round #3 - 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season -

Visteon/Patrick Racing driver Oriol Servia finished sixth today at the Grand Prix of Monterey at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California.

Servia, who qualified the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing entry, which is powered by Ford/Cosworth with a Lola chassis and Bridgestone tires, 11th, started tenth when Michel Jourdain failed a post-qualifying technical inspection. The 28-year-old native of Spain then proceeded to drive a very smart, competitive race to score his fourth consecutive top-10 finish, one short of his CART career high, and earn his fifth straight points paying performance, which ties his CART career high.

The race started on a yellow flag, but Servia was on the move when the track went green on lap two. He passed two cars on the first competitive lap to move into eighth place where he remained until the first round of pit stops on lap 24. Servia picked up one position in the pits when his Visteon/Patrick Racing crew had the first of three outstanding stops of the day getting him out in front of Jimmy Vasser. Now in seventh place, Servia held station until the second round of stops on lap 48 when he was able to pass Adrian Fernandez, once again, due to the pit work of his crew. Servia battled with Fernandez off and on throughout the third stint. He pitted for the third and final time on lap 72. At that point the crew really outdid themselves by making the fastest stop of any team in the race. Servia rejoined the contest in sixth place and not only defended his position over the final 16 laps, but pulled away. He earned eight points for the sixth place showing and is now tied for sixth in the championship standings with 48 points, but because of tiebreakers is listed as seventh.

"I am really happy the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team finished sixth today," Servia said. "Normally, a sixth place finish would not excite me, but we struggled all weekend with the setup. Also, I didn't make any easier for the team when I crashed in qualifying," he noted. "In this morning's warm- up we tried something different and it didn't work, so we were guessing a little with the setup for the race. We had a completely different setup for the race, and I have to say the Visteon/Patrick Racing car was decent. There was only a couple of corners were I was losing time to the leaders, but the rest of the turns I was able to attack and make some gains on the field," Servia explained.

Servia concluded by saying, "I had a good start and passed a couple of cars, but the key factor of the race for the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team was our pit stops. The crew did a fantastic job on the stops. They were very smooth and very quick, just an awesome job by the whole team."

Servia had his highest starting and finishing position in three races at Laguna Seca this weekend. He has now started all seven races this year in the top-10. The seven consecutive top-10 starts are his CART career high. He has also now finished in the points in six of the seven events this year, which ties his CART career high.

Servia, who is in his fourth CART season, made his 60th career start and 17th for Visteon/Patrick Racing today. In 60 CART events he has earned 27 top-ten finishes including nine top-five showings with two podium performances. In his 17 starts with Visteon/Patrick Racing, 10 in 2002 and six this year, Servia has finished in the points 11 times with seven top-10 finishes including five top-five showings and one podium.

Patrick Racing has now qualified in the top-10 a total of 16 times in 26 attempts at Laguna Seca. They have finished in the top-10 a total of 16 times.

Next up for Visteon/Patrick Racing is the Grand Prix of Portland/G. I. Joe's 200 June 20-22 at Portland International Raceway in Portland, Oregon. The G. I. Joe's 200 will be televised live on CBS on Sunday, June 22 at 3:30 PM (ET).

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 Jimmy Vasser , Adrian Fernandez , Oriol Servia , Michel Jourdain