PKV RACING EIGHTH AND 16TH ON PROVISIONAL GRID FOR TECATE GRAND PRIX OF MONTERREY MONTERREY, MEXICO -- FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2006 -- Round ...
PKV RACING EIGHTH AND 16TH ON PROVISIONAL GRID FOR TECATE GRAND PRIX OF MONTERREY
MONTERREY, MEXICO -- FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2006 -- Round #3 -- 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season -- PKV Racing drivers Oriol Servia and Katherine Legge qualified eighth and 16th respectively during today's provisional qualifying for Sunday's Tecate Grand Prix in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
Servia, in the #6 Gulfsteam -- PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone car, qualified with a quick lap of 75.731 seconds (100.017 mph) on the 2.104-mile, 10 turn Parque Fundidora permanent road course. Legge, who drives the #20 Bell Micro -- PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone entry, clocked a fast time of 78.159 seconds (96.910 mph).
Servia, was sixth on the speed charts following the morning practice session, with a fast time of 77.126 seconds (98.208 mph). In the short pre-qualifying afternoon practice/warm-up, Servia improved both his time and position posting a fast lap of 76.719 seconds (98.729 mph), which placed him third on both the individual and combined practice reports. However, during the qualifying session with track temperatures a good 30 degrees higher the Gulfstream -- PKV Racing machine seemed to falter a bit. Servia never cracked the top-five on his first stint and ran his fast lap at the start of his second stint, which was unfortunately interrupted by a red flag.
"I am not very happy with the Gulfstream -- PKV Racing team qualifying session today," Servia noted. "Things were looking a lot better after this morning's practice session. It just seemed like the afternoon heat really affected the performance of the car negatively. There really isn't much else to say. We just couldn't get any grip with the new tire. I just never felt the new tire come in," he explained. "The PKV Racing team just has to go back to the transporter and look at the data and see what we can come up with," Servia concluded.
Seriva, who is making his sixth appearance in Monterrey, has qualified in the top-10 four times in five previous attempts with a best starting position of fourth in 2003. In five previous races he has finished in the top-10 twice with a best showing of ninth last year.
Servia is contesting his third race with PKV Racing. So far this season he has qualified eighth in each of the first two races. However, he has been the victim of some bad luck in both events. At the season opener in Long Beach, he was the innocent victim of a four car pile-up on the opening lap of the race and finished 18th. In Houston, he was running fifth when in the latter stages of the race, while attempting to pass Alex Tagliani for fourth place, the two came together. Servia's car was damaged beyond repair and he ended up 12th. The 31-year-old native of Pals, Catalonia, Spain, is currently 16th in the championship standings with 12 points.
Now in his seventh Champ Car season, Servia is competing in his 101st career Champ Car event. In 100 Champ Car starts, Servia, who is in his seventh Champ Car season, has earned 51 top-ten finishes including 25 top-five showings, 12 podium performances and one victory (Montreal 2005). The resident of Miami, Florida who has finished in the top-10 in the standings the last three years, is coming off his best Champ Car season after placing second last year..
Legge started the day 10th on the speed charts with a time of 78.263 seconds (96.781 mph). During the afternoon warm-up she improved her time a bit notching a quick lap of 78.222 seconds (96.832), but fell to 13th on the individual practice report and 15th on the combined report.
"It was an interesting first qualifying session for the Bell Micro -- PKV Racing team," Legge said. "We had some issues, some issues with the engine, so we will change it overnight, come back tomorrow and move up the grid, I hope."
Legge is making her first Champ Car start in Monterrey, however, she competed in the Atlantic race at Fundidora Park last year qualifying eighth and finishing fifth.
The talented and determined 25-year-old native of Great Britain, who is in her first Champ Car season, will be making her third career Champ Car start. Legge has qualified 17th and 15th in the first two races of the season, but has been much stronger in the races. In her Champ Car debut at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach she finished eighth, then at the Champ Car Grand Prix of Houston she was running 12th, and headed for a top-10 finish, when she was hit by another competitor and knocked out of the race placing 14th. Legge is currently 11th in the championship standings with 22 points. She is third in the Champ Car rookie points race (Will Power -30 and Jan Heyland -- 26).