CHAMPCAR/CART: Montreal: PKV Racing preview

PKV RACING'S ORIOL SERVIA LOOKS TO DEFEND TITLE AT GRAND PRIX OF MONTREAL LEGGE SEEKS TO MOVE UP IN ROOKIE RACE INDIANAPOLIS, IN - - AUGUST 24, 2006 - - PKV Racing's Oriol Servia will be looking to defend his title and move up in the ...

PKV RACING'S ORIOL SERVIA LOOKS TO DEFEND TITLE AT GRAND PRIX OF MONTREAL

LEGGE SEEKS TO MOVE UP IN ROOKIE RACE

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - - AUGUST 24, 2006 - - PKV Racing's Oriol Servia will be looking to defend his title and move up in the championship standings this weekend at the Grand Prix of Montreal on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Teammate Katherine Legge will also be 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.

Servia, who pilots the #6 Gulfstream -- PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone machine, scored the first victory of his Champ Car career last year when he took the checkered flag in Montreal. The 32-year-old native of Pals, Catalunya, Spain, is tied for ninth in the standings with 140 points, but is just nine points out of fourth. With four races remaining in the 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series season, a solid showing in Montreal is vital to his hopes for a top-five showing in the final standings. Legge, who drives the #20 Bell Micro -- PKV Racing Ford Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone entry, is coming off a ninth place finish two weeks ago in Denver and is looking to build on that showing as she makes her final push for a top-10 finish in the championship standings and tries to climb to the top of the rookie of the year standings. Leggge is currently 14th in the point's race, 31 points out of 10th, and third in the rookie race, 37 points out of the lead.

Servia, who will be contesting his fifth Champ Car race in Montreal, has been consistently strong on the 2.709-mile, 13-turn Montreal permanent road circuit. 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.

"The race in Montreal comes at a good time for the PKV Racing team," Servia noted. "The team has worked very hard and we have made a lot of progress with the setup of the car. The Gulfstream - PKV Racing car has consistently been in the top-five in the last five races and I think we are ready to challenge the leaders. The improvement in the car comes at a time when we are going to a track that I like and have done well on in the past. I almost won in Montreal in 2003 and got my first career win there last year," he explained. "Montreal is a great track. It has lots of fast chicanes, which I really like. This race also comes at a time when championship points are extremely valuable for everyone."

Servia, who will be making his 11th start for PKV Racing this weekend, has been remarkably consistent in qualifying earning nine top-10 starting spots in 10 attempts this year. He qualified in the top-five four consecutive times making him first driver in PKV Racing's three plus year history to to do so. 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. However, his current position in the standings does not reflect how competitive he has been. In the four races Servia did 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). He is tied for ninth in the championship standings with 140 points, but is ranked tenth because Bruno Junqueira holds the tiebreaker with a season high second place finish to Servia's third).

Legge 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. In addition to the ninth place showing in Denver, she placed a season, and career, high sixth at Milwaukee, eighth in her Champ Car debut at Long Beach and eighth in Cleveland. Legge has qualified in the top-10 once, a career high eighth in Milwaukee, in 10 attempts. The talented and determined resident of Indianapolis, Indiana is third in laps completed (946 of 1008) and ninth in laps led with 12. She has scored 109 points and trails Will Power by 37 and Dan Clarke by 15 in the rookie race.

"I am looking forward to racing a Champ Car in Montreal," Legge said. "I like the track because it is more like the circuits I grew up with, so there is a certain comfort level. Last year in Atlantics I had a good race finishing fourth, but this will, once again, be a new challenge," she explained.

Commenting on her goals for the season Legge said, "We have just four races left in the season, so it is important that the Bell Micro -- PKV Racing team take advantage of every opportunity. The team has been very supportive all season and they have done a great job preparing the car. We had a good race in Denver and I just want to build on that, have a strong end to the season and try and reach my goals of finishing in the top-10 in the points and winning the rookie of the year award."

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.

-credit: www.pkvracing.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Oriol Servia , Gilles Villeneuve , Katherine Legge , Will Power , Dan Clarke