Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia finishes 18th at rain delayed Mario Andretti Grand Prix at Road America ELKHART LAKE, WISCONSIN - SUNDAY, AUGUST 3, 2003 -- Round ...
Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia finishes 18th at rain delayed Mario Andretti Grand Prix at Road America
ELKHART LAKE, WISCONSIN - SUNDAY, AUGUST 3, 2003 -- Round #12 - 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season - Visteon/Patrick Racing driver Oriol Servia finished 18th today at the rain delayed Mario Andretti Grand Prix at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
Servia, behind the wheel of the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing entry, which is powered by Ford/Cosworth and uses a Lola chassis with Bridgestone tires, started a CART career high tying fourth, but spun on the warm-up lap following a two hour and 40 minute rain delay. The spin put him into the wall damaging the car and ending his race.
The day began with a half hour morning warm-up in ideal, sunny, weather conditions. However, approximately one hour before the scheduled 2:00 PM starting time heavy precipitation began to fall. By 2:00 PM conditions had deteriorated to the extent that the race was commenced under a yellow flag. With one lap completed and drivers working lap two, CART officials determined that visibility was so poor that it was unsafe to race. At that point a red flag was flown halting the event. After a 20-minute delay CART shortened the race from 60 to 47 laps and attempted to restart the contest. After running five more laps a second red flag was flown. Two hours and 40 minutes later conditions had improved sufficiently so that at approximately 5:32 PM, action got back under way. The race distance was again reduced, this time to 34 laps with seven laps already in the books. On lap eight, the first following the long delay, which was conducted under a yellow flag, Servia was entering Turn #12, tapped the brakes and suddenly the rear end of the car spun around sending him into the wall.
"There is not much to say," Servia began. "It was the warm-up lap and I wasn't even going fast. I touched the brake and the rear of the Visteon/Patrick Racing car locked up and went straight into the wall. I had no time to react. I cannot believe it. It just happened so fast," he explained. "It is a shame because the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team worked very hard this weekend and I had a good race car," Servia concluded.
The 29-year-old Spaniard was starting in the top-10 for a personal CART career record 12th consecutive time. It was also his best starting position in four attempts at Road America. His best finish is 10th (2000 and 2001).
Servia has now scored points in nine of the 12 races this year including top-six showings in seven of his last nine events. He has earned a single season high five top-five finishes including a CART career best second place finish (Milwaukee). The resident of Miami, Florida has also set personal CART career records for consecutive top-six finishes, seven, top- 10 showings, seven and points paying performances, eight. He is sixth in the championship standings with 76 points.
Servia, who is in his fourth CART season and second with Visteon/Patrick Racing, was making his 65th career CART start and 22nd for the team. In 65 CART career events he has earned 30 top-ten finishes including 11 top-five showings with two podium performances. In his 22 starts with Visteon/Patrick Racing, 10 in 2002 and 11 this year, Servia has finished in the points 14 times with 11 top-10 finishes including seven top-five showings and one podium (Milwaukee).
Patrick Racing was making its 30th start at Elkhart Lake. They have now qualified in the top-10 a total of 18 times in 30 attempts. Their best starting position is fourth (Andretti - '82; Cogan - '86; Fittipaldi - '88 and Pruett - '98). The team has finished in the top-10 a total of 14 times including nine top-five showings and two wins (Fittipaldi - '86 and '88).
Next up for Visteon/Patrick Racing is Champ Car Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio, August 8-10 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. The race will be televised live on Speed Channel.