CHAMPCAR/CART: Laguna Seca: Patrick Racing Saturday report

UPDATE: Jourdain fails post-wualifying technical inspection Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia to start 10th tn tomorrow's Grand Prix of Monterey. MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA -- FRIDAY, JUNE 13, 2003 -- Round ...

UPDATE:

Jourdain fails post-wualifying technical inspection Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia to start 10th tn tomorrow's Grand Prix of Monterey.

MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA -- FRIDAY, JUNE 13, 2003 -- Round #3 - 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season -

Provisional pole-sitter Michel Jourdain failed a post-qualifying technical inspection moving Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia up to tenth on the starting grid for tomorrow's Grand Prix of Monterey at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California.

As a result, Servia will start his CART career high seventh consecutive race in the top-10 and that he will have started in the top-10 in all seven races this season. It also means that Patrick Racing has now qualified in the top-10 a total of 17 times in 26 attempts at Laguna Seca.

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Visteon/Patrick Racing qualifies 11th for tomorrow's Grand Prix Of Monterey.

MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA -- FRIDAY, JUNE 13, 2003 -- Round #3 - 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season -

An incident in Turn #4 during his first stint in final qualifying ended a promising run by Visteon/Patrick Racing driver Oriol Servia.

As a result, Servia, behind the wheel of the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing entry, which is powered by Ford/Cosworth with a Lola chassis and Bridgestone tires, will start 11th in tomorrow's Grand Prix of Monterey at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California.

The 28-year-old native of Spain had just completed his sixth circuit of the track on his first set of tires and run his fastest lap of the weekend clocking a time of 70.597 seconds (114.124 mph). Sitting third on the grid with one more timed lap to go in the first stint, Servia sensed he needed to step it up even further. He navigated the first three turns of the 2.238-mile, 11-turn Laguna Seca permanent road course on what appeared to be an even faster lap, but as he entered Turn #4 the Visteon/Patrick Racing car broke loose. Servia corrected, but slid off track into the dirt and crashed into the tire barrier. The front end of the car was severely damaged bringing an end to his qualifying session. Unfortunately, as the track continued to improve several drivers were able to post faster times on their second set of tires dropping Servia down the final grid.

"I had just done what I thought was a pretty good lap, but I knew I was still a second off the top speed at that time," Servia began. "I figured the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team needed some magic, so I was trying to put together one more very quick lap. The Visteon/Patrick Racing car was a little loose and I just lost it in Turn #4. It's a shame because the team worked very hard to give me a decent car for final qualifying," he said.

Servia began the day tenth on the provisional grid following Friday's qualifying session with a quick time of 71.227 seconds (113.114 mph). During today's morning practice the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team showed that they had improved the car from the previous day as Servia notched a fast lap of 71.085 seconds (113.340 mph). The quick time put him ninth on the individual practice report and 10th on the combined practice report, but more importantly, it had the team feeling optimistic heading into this afternoon's final qualifying.

This is the first time this season that Servia has failed to start a race in the top-10. He came to Monterey on a streak that had seen him start a CART career high six races in the front half of the field. However, it is his best starting position in three attempts a Laguna Seca. In 2000 he qualified 10th and finished 17th. He started 21st and placed 17th in 2001.

The 11th place starting position will make it difficult, but certainly not impossible for the resident of Miami, Florida to extend a couple of other streaks. Servia has finished in the top-five in a CART career high three races and has scored points in four straight events, which is one short of his career high. He has finished in the points in five of the six events this year and is currently seventh in the championship standings with 40 points.

Commenting on tomorrow's race Servia said, "It is going to be a long race for the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team starting 11th tomorrow. However, after the crew finishes fixing the damage I think we will have a good car for the race. Stranger things have happen here at Laguna Seca, so we can still have a chance to have a good race."

Now in his fourth CART season, Servia will be making his 60th career start and 17th for Visteon/Patrick Racing tomorrow. In 59 CART events he has earned 26 top-ten finishes including nine top-five showings with two podium performances. In his 16 starts with Visteon/Patrick Racing, 10 in 2002 and six this year, Servia has finished in the points ten times with six top-10 finishes including five top-five showings and one podium.

Patrick Racing will be making its 26th start at Laguna Seca. The team has now qualified in the top-10 a total of 16 times in 26 attempts. There highest starting position is third in 1983 by Chip Ganassi and 1997 with Scott Pruett. In 25 previous races they have finished in the top-10 a total of 15 times with a best showing of third again by Ganassi in 1983 and Pruett, but in 1996. Patrick Racing's last win was at Vancouver in 2001 with Roberto Moreno.

The Grand Prix of Monterrey will be televised live on CBS on Sunday, June 15 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 Roberto Moreno , Oriol Servia , Scott Pruett , Chip Ganassi , Michel Jourdain