Visteon/Patrick Racing concludes 2002 season with ninth place finish at inaugural Gran Premio Telmex-Gigante.
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO -- SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2002 -- Round #19 of the 2002 FedEx Championship Series - Visteon/Patrick Racing concluded the 2002 FedEx Championship Series season with a ninth place showing in the inaugural Gran Premio Telmex-Gigante presented by Banamex/Visa at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico.
The ninth place finish allowed driver Oriol Servia, behind the wheel of the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing entry for the final ten races of the 2002 season, to end the year on a high note with consecutive top-ten showings (fifth in Fontana).
Servia, who started 16th, began moving through the field from the opening lap. Driving a strong, patient race he took advantage of attrition and benefited from a sound race strategy devised by Mr. U. E. "Pat" Patrick and Visteon/Patrick Racing General Manager Jim McGee, plus flawless pit-work from the crew. Add in two daring passes and it all added up to another solid performance for the team.
"The Visteon/Patrick Racing car was very strong during the second half of the race and I was able to pass a couple of drivers and make up a lot of ground," Servia noted. "The crew did a great job in the pits and Mr. Patrick and Jim McGee called a good race. Considering where the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team started I am happy with our performance today, but it is not where we wanted to finish, especially in the last race of the season," he said.
Sevia went on to explain, "The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team needs to work on qualifying better. This series is so competitive that you need to start toward the front of the grid if you are going to have a chance to win. The good news is that we ended the season on a high note with two top-ten showings.
"I want to thank Mr. Patrick for giving me this opportunity. I also want to thank Visteon Corporation and the entire Visteon/Patrick Racing Team for their support this year. We didn't achieve all of our goals, but we learned a lot and made a lot of progress during the second half of the season. Hopefully, we can continue to grow together in the future and challenge for a championship," Servia concluded.
The Gran Premio Telmex-Gigante was Servia's 53rd career CART start, 13th of the 2002 season and tenth for Visteon/Patrick Racing. During his CART career he has now earned 17 top-ten finishes and five top-five showings (Third, Detroit - 2000; fourth, Rockingham - 2002; fifth, Fontana - 2002; Vancouver and Germany in 2001). Servia's best finish is the podium performance at Detroit in 2000. The 28-year-old native of Pals, Catalonia, Spain finished in the points in eight of the 13 races he contested this year and five of ten with Visteon/Patrick Racing. He had six top-ten showings in his 13 starts, four of ten coming with Visteon/Patrick Racing. Servia had two top-five finishes, both with Visteon/Patrick Racing, a fifth place performance at Fontana and a season high fourth place showing at the Rockingham 500 in Corby, England. He qualified in the top-ten in two of 13 attempts both after joining Visteon/Patrick Racing. Servia's best starting position was ninth achieved at Australia and Elkhart Lake. The resident of Miami, Florida picked up two spots in point standings in the last two races to place 16th overall with 44 points.
Visteon/Patrick Racing concluded the season with eight points paying performances in 19 races including six top-ten and three top-five finishes. The team's best showings were a pair of fourth place finishes. The first was by Townsend Bell at Portland and the second by Servia at Rockingham. Visteon/Patrick Racing drivers qualified in the top-ten seven times in 19 races this season.