CHAMPCAR/CART: Miami: Patrick Racing Friday report

Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia qualifies 13th on provisional grid for Sunday's Grand Prix Americas. MIAMI, FLORIDA -- FRIDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2002 -- Round ...

Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia qualifies 13th on provisional grid for Sunday's Grand Prix Americas.

MIAMI, FLORIDA -- FRIDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2002 -- Round #16 of the 2002 FedEx Championship Series - Visteon/Patrick Racing driver Oriol Servia qualified 14th on the provisional grid today for Sunday's Grand Prix Americas on the temporary street circuit in Miami, Florida.

Servia, who will be making his 50th career CART start this weekend was 12th on the morning practice report with a quick time of 63.477 seconds (78.662 mph). During the 15-minute pre-qualifying warm-up times for the vast majority of the drivers were slower as teams made final adjustments in preparation for qualifying. Servia, who now resides in Miami, was no exception as he turned a fast time of 64.927 seconds (76.905 mph). The time put him 16th on the individual practice report and dropped him to 13th on the combined report based on his morning time. During provisional qualifying the 28-year-old native of Pals, Catalonia, Spain, was able to significantly pick up the pace, running a fast lap of 62.891 seconds (79.395 mph), but his qualifying run was hampered by two red flags which prevented him from getting all the speed out of the car.

"The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team did not have an ideal qualifying session today," Servia said. "Some of the drivers went out early and had clear laps, while we choose to go out later, when the track conditions were better, and unfortunately, there were a couple of red flag situations. That prevented us from maximizing our qualifying effort. I think we have a top-ten qualifying car. Not a top-five, but a solid top-ten car. We have some more work to do tonight and tomorrow morning, but I am confident we will gain some ground in final qualifying," Servia concluded.

Servia, who is piloting the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing entry, with Toyota power and Bridgestone tires, for the seventh time this season is looking to build on his season high fourth place finish three weeks ago at the Rockingham 500 in Corby, England. The top-five finish is his best performance in six races with Visteon/Patrick Racing. It is also the second highest (Third - Detroit - 2000), fourth top-five (Detroit - 2000, fifth Vancouver and Germany in 2001) and 15th top-ten finish of his three-year, 49 race CART career. The fourth place finish tied the best performance for Visteon/Patrick Racing this season (Townsend Bell - Portland).

Servia began the year running the first three races with Pac West Racing then sat out the next six contests before joining Visteon/Patrick Racing for a five-race trial beginning in Vancouver. He impressed the team with both his knowledge and racing ability during the five- race stint and was signed to contest the remainder of the 2002 season.

Servia, who has finished in the points in six of his nine starts this year and in the top-ten four times, is currently 18th in the championship race with 30 points. He

has qualified in the top-ten once in six attempts with Visteon/Patrick Racing and once in nine attempts this year (ninth at Elkhart Lake). Visteon/Patrick Racing has qualified in the top-ten in six of 15 races this year.

The Grand Prix Americas will be televised on Sunday, October 6 on CBS. It will run live in some markets and tape delayed in other. Airtime for the live broadcast is 1:00 PM (ET) the tape delay time is 4:30 - 6:00 PM (ET). Check your local listings. Speed Channel will air Saturday, October 5, Qualifying from 1:30 - 3:00 PM (ET).

-pr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Oriol Servia , Townsend Bell