Runner Up Finish for Servia in Forsythe Debut LONG BEACH, California -- April 15, 2007 -- It was a bittersweet day for the Forsythe Team today at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach as veteran Oriol Servia made an impressive debut with the Team,...
Runner Up Finish for Servia in Forsythe Debut
LONG BEACH, California -- April 15, 2007 -- It was a bittersweet day for the Forsythe Team today at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach as veteran Oriol Servia made an impressive debut with the Team, unfortunately replacing Paul Tracy who suffered a back injury in Saturday Practice. Servia had a spectacular race to second on the podium after qualifying down the field due to only getting a handful of practice laps in the #3 Indeck car. Teammate Mario Dominguez' day ended early when he made contact with the Turn 9 tire wall on lap nine and finished 17th.
Servia climbed into Tracy's seat Saturday at the very last minute and was thrown straight into qualifying where he secured the 14th starting position. The only other time he was in the car was during the short 30-minute warm up session before the race. But the Spanish driver adapted quickly and started moving through the field as the race got underway. The Team decided to get out of sequence and out of slower traffic by pitting during an early caution period. For the strategy to work Servia had to maintain a blistering pace which he achieved perfectly, and after the pit stop shuffling was over he found himself in second position chasing the leader. He held his spot for the rest of the race and also turned the third quickest lap of the race with a time of 1m09.283s.
Mario Dominguez had a strong start and was climbing up through the field turning quicker laps than the cars ahead of him. As he was braking for Turn 9 he locked up the tires of his #7Telmex/Banca Mifel Champ Car which caused him to spin and hit the tire wall. The damage to the car forced the Mexican driver to retire from the race.
Oriol Servia #3 Indeck
"Well I really wasn't expecting to be here. I wanted, but I wasn't expecting to be here when I came on Friday. So I'm just very happy. I am very glad that I was given the opportunity. And I knew that the car was going to be good and the team was going to do a good job. I knew that if I wasn't too rusty, I could do a good job. So I took the opportunity and made the best of it. First I want to thank the whole Forsythe team and especially Mr. Forsythe for trusting that I could do the job. Also, I want to really thank the fans because, you know, in Vegas it was very hard for me just to walk around without a ride. And every step in the paddock, I would find a fan that would come to me and just give me their support. And same happened here on Friday. So that kept my energy and motivation up. I want to thank them very much."
Mario Dominguez #7 Telmex/Banca Mifel
"I just made a mistake, I got on the brakes pretty hard and locked up the tires and just lost control of the car. The car was very good up until then, I was just saving a lot of fuel and turning consistent laps. It's really a shame because the Forsythe Team has worked very hard and we had a very good car. But I'll just have to make up for it in Houston now."
Next stop in the calendar for the Champ Car World Series is the Houston Grand Prix April 20-22. Tune in to watch Sunday April 15 on NBC Sports at 4pm Eastern Time.