CHAMPCAR/CART: Patrick Racing Laguna test report

Visteon/Patrick Racing concludes first test of 2003 season. JACKSON, MI - - JANUARY 27, 2003 - - Visteon/Patrick Racing held its first test of the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season running for two days,...

Visteon/Patrick Racing concludes first test of 2003 season.

JACKSON, MI - - JANUARY 27, 2003 - - Visteon/Patrick Racing held its first test of the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season running for two days, January 25 -26, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California.

Oriol Servia, behind the wheel of the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing car, which is powered by Ford-Cosworth with a Lola chassis and Bridgestone tires, ran a total of 250 miles and notched a fast time of 70.569 seconds (114.169 mph) putting him seventh on the combined practice report after the two days of testing. His quick time during the first day of testing was 71.378 seconds (112.875 mph) placing him fifth on the speed charts.

Servia, who is in his fourth Champ Car season and second with Visteon/Patrick Racing, was pleased with the results of the test saying, "The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team spent the first day of the test shaking down the primary and backup cars. The team did a good job preparing the cars and we had a very productive day with no problems. The second day we got more into racing and tied to make the car quick. The Visteon/Patrick Racing car was well balanced and I was quite happy. In the morning we were third fastest then, in the afternoon, we tired some things mainly to learn more about the car. We didn't improve our time, but we learned a lot and that is why we test."

Servia also noted that, "This was my first test with Visteon/Patrick Racing. I joined the team at mid-season last year and we didn't do any testing. It was also my first chance to work with engineer Steve Challis. I think things went very well and I am looking forward to getting back on the track at Spring Training."

Patrick Racing General Manager Jim McGee said, "This was our first test of the 2003 season, so it was the first time we have run our new Lola chassis and the new Ford-Cosworth engine. It was also the first time Oriol has tested with the team and the first test with Steve Challis as the engineer. Given all the new elements it was a good shakedown for the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team.

McGee went on to say, "The Lola chassis looks good, the Ford-Cosworth engine ran exceptionally well and the Bridgestone tires were very consistent and durable. We ran both the primary and backup cars equally and in the morning of the second day we made a big gain. That afternoon we decided to try some different things so we didn't make as big an improvement as we could have. That was a product of the fact we were experimenting and trying to get a feel for the new car. The most important thing was we were competitive each day and learned a lot. Overall, it was a very productive test for the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team and I am happy with the progress we made. Now we have a list of items to work on this week so we can continue to develop the car at Spring Training."

Visteon/Patrick Racing will test again on February 4-6 during the Champ Car World Series Spring Training at Sebring, Florida.

PATRICK RACING NOTES:

Oriol Servia In 2002:

Servia ran the first three races of the 2002 season with PacWest Racing. He joined Visteon/Patrick Racing at Vancouver and ran ten events with the team. The 28-year-old native of Pals, Catalonia, Spain finished in the points in eight of the 13 races he contested and five of ten with Visteon/Patrick Racing. He had six top-ten showings; four coming with Visteon/Patrick Racing and two top-five performances both with Visteon/Patrick Racing (fifth at Fontana and a season high fourth at Rockingham). The resident of Miami, Florida placed 16th in the championship standings with 44 points.

Servia's Champ Car Career:

In 53 career Champ Car starts, Servia has earned 23 top-ten finishes including six top-five showings and one podium (third, Detroit - 2000; fourth, Rockingham - 2002; fifth, Fontana - 2002; Vancouver and Germany in 2001; St. Louis - 2000). Servia's best showing is the podium performance at Detroit in 2000.

McGee Holds Record For Most Wins:

Patrick Racing General Manager Jim McGee is the most successful Manager/Chief Mechanic in Champ Car history. He has 89 victories including four at the Indianapolis 500 and nine national championships. McGee is the only Manager/Chief Mechanic to win a championship in four decades (60's - 90's). He has at least one victory in each of his last five decades (his 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's) and a least one victory in each of the last five decades (60's-00).

Patrick Racing Facts:

Patrick Racing enters its 31st year of competition in 2003 as one of the most successful teams in Champ Car history. Patrick drivers have started 769 races, earning 45 victories including three Indianapolis 500 titles and two national championships (1976 - Gordon Johncock and 1989 - Emerson Fittipaldi). U. E. "Pat" Patrick is the co-founder of CART.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Oriol Servia , Gordon Johncock