PKV RACING'S ORIOL SERVIA PROVISIONALLY QUALIFIES SEASON HIGH SECOND FOR CHAMP CAR GRAND PRIX OF MONTREAL MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA -- FRIDAY, AUGUST 25, 2006 -- Round ...
PKV RACING'S ORIOL SERVIA PROVISIONALLY QUALIFIES SEASON HIGH SECOND FOR CHAMP CAR GRAND PRIX OF MONTREAL
MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA -- FRIDAY, AUGUST 25, 2006 -- Round #11 -- 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season -- PKV Racing's Oriol Servia provisionally qualified a season high second today for the Grand Prix of Montreal on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Teammate Katherine Legge qualified 15th.
Servia, who is the Montreal Grand Prix defending champion, drove the #6 Gulfsteam -- PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone machine, to a quick lap 81.523 (119.628 mph) on the 2.709-mile, 13-turn Montreal permanent road circuit. Legge clocked in with a time of 83.663 seconds (116.568 mph) in the #20 Bell Micro -- PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone entry.
Servia, who scored the first victory of his Champ Car career last year when he took the checkered flag in Montreal, recorded the third fastest time of the morning practice notching a quick lap of 83.141 seconds (117.300 mph). During the pre-qualifying practice/warm-up, he ran only four laps, but again posted the third fastest time clocking in at 83.284 seconds (117.098 mph). The time placed him fourth on the combined report. In qualifying, the Gulfstream -- PKV Racing, which originally planned to run two stints, waited six minutes before heading out for their first run. Five minutes into the stint a red flag came out just as Servia, running on the black primary tire, completed his third circuit. The lap came in at 82.724 seconds, which put him second on the speed charts. Switching to a three stint strategy, Servia was back on track, again with the primary tire, with the drop of the green flag and 15 minutes remaining. He ran four more laps turning a fast lap of 82.118, again on the third lap and sixth of his seven, which kept him second on the grid. For the third stint, Servia took to the track with just under seven minutes remaining and his Gulfstream -- PKV Racing machine shod with the red alternate tire. He turned five more laps, for a total of 12 and recorded his fast time on the final lap.
"I am just happy that the Gulfstream -- PKV Racing team keeps making progress," Servia said. "The whole team, the engineers, the crew, everybody had been working hard, putting in extra hours and the results are showing," Servia noted.
Servia concluded by saying, "For some reason in racing you feel a lot better qualifying third than second. When you qualify second you feel like you should have gotten the pole. But, we still have tomorrow to try and move up one more spot on the grid," he explained. "The good thing is that, for sure we have a good base car and we should be a contender for the pole and the race win."
With just four races remaining in the 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season, Servia will be looking to use this weekend's race in Montreal as a springboard in his efforts to move into the top-five in the final championship standings. The 32-year-old native Pals, Catalunya, Spain, currently sits in a tie for ninth in the point's race with 140, just nine points out of fourth place, but is ranked tenth because Bruno Junqueira holds the tiebreaker with a season high second place finish to Servia's third).
Servia, who has been consistently fast on this circuit, will be contesting his fifth race in Montreal. He has qualified in the top-10 three times in four previous attempts with a best starting position of second, which he earned in 2003 and again last year. Servia has finished in the top-10 three times in four previous races. In addition to last year's win he has placed second in 2003 and ninth in 2004.
Servia, who will be making his 11th start for PKV Racing this weekend, has qualified in the top-10 in nine of the 10 races this year including a team record four consecutive top-five starting spots. Servia qualified a season high fourth in Cleveland, fifth in Edmonton, Toronto and San Jose; seventh twice, Milwaukee and Monterrey, Mexico, eighth three times, Long Beach, Houston and Denver and 12th in Portland. He has finished in the top-10 in six of the ten races this year including three top five showings and the team's only podium performance of the season a third place finish in Cleveland. In addition to the podium, Servia finished fourth in Edmonton, fifth in Milwaukee, eighth in Monterrey and San Jose and 10th in Portland. In the four races Servia has not finished in the top-10, three times he was the innocent victim of crashes, Long Beach on the opening lap; running fifth in Houston when he was hit late in the race; running fifth in Toronto when he was hit again late in the race. In the fourth race he was running in fifth in Denver when he had an engine problem early in the race. Servia, a resident of Miami, Florida, is fifth in laps led with 30 and ninth in laps completed (830 out of 1008).
Legge, who is looking for a strong showing as she attempts to achieve her goals of finishing in the top-10 in the points race and capturing the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year Award, was 15th on the speed charts after the morning practice with a time of 84.978 seconds (114.764 mph). During the afternoon warm-up, she, like her teammate ran just four laps posting a time of 84.977 seconds (114.765 mph), which left her 15th on the individual practice report, but dropped her to 17th on the combined report. In qualifying, the Bell Micro -- PKV Racing team headed out for their first stint at the beginning of the qualifying session. Legge got seven laps in before the red flag came out recording her fast lap on the sixth circuit, which placed her eighth on the speed charts at the time. The team then waited until there where was 11:30 left in the session before sending Legge out for her second run. Running eight more laps, she was unable to improve on her earlier time.
Legge, a rookie, will be making her 11th career Champ Car start and first at Montreal although she did compete there last year in the Atlantic Championships qualifying fourth and finishing fourth. The 25-year-old native of Great Britain has earned four top-10 finishes in her first 10 Champ Car races. She placed a season, and career, high sixth at Milwaukee, eighth in her Champ Car debut at Long Beach eighth in Cleveland and ninth two weeks ago in Denver. Legge has qualified in the top-10 once, a career high eighth in Milwaukee. The resident of Indianapolis, Indiana is third in laps completed (946) and ninth in laps led with 12. Legge is 14th in the championship standings with 109 points, 31 points out of 10th place, and trails Will Power by 37 and Dan Clarke by 15 in the rookie race.
PKV Racing will be making its sixth and seventh start and contesting its fourth race in Montreal. The team has qualified in the top-10 twice with a best starting position of eighth by Crisitano da Matta last year (Jimmy Vasser started ninth). They have finished in the top-10 in all five previous starts with a best showing of sixth by da Matta again last year.