CHAMPCAR/CART: San Jose: PKV Racing Saturday report

PKV RACING'S ORIOL SERVIA QUALIFIES FIFTH FOR FOR CANARY FOUNDATION GRAND PRIX OF SAN JOSE Servia Becomes First PKV Racing Driver to Start In Top-Five in Four Consecutive Races SAN JOSE, CA -- SATURDAY, JULY 29, 2006 -- Round ...

PKV RACING'S ORIOL SERVIA QUALIFIES FIFTH FOR FOR CANARY FOUNDATION GRAND PRIX OF SAN JOSE

Servia Becomes First PKV Racing Driver to Start In Top-Five in Four Consecutive Races

SAN JOSE, CA -- SATURDAY, JULY 29, 2006 -- Round #9 -- 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season -- PKV Racing's Oriol Servia became the first driver in the team's three plus year history to qualify in the top-five in four consecutive races today when he qualified fifth for tomorrow's Canary Foundation Grand Prix of San Jose presented by Taylor Woodrow in San Jose, CA. Teammate Katherine Legge will start 15th

Servia improved his starting position by one place from yesterday's provisional qualifying by running a fast lap of 49.813 seconds (104.286 mph) in the #6 Gulfstream -- PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone entry. He will start on the inside of Row #3. Legge, #20 Bell Micro -- PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone car, will start on the inside of Row #8 after running a lap of 50.473 seconds (102.922 mph).

Servia was sixth on the grid following yesterday's provisional qualifying with a fast lap of

50.388 seconds (103.096 mph). In morning practice, Servia gave an indication of what was to come when he notched a fast lap of 50.237 seconds (103.406 mph) placing him fifth on both the individual and combined practice reports. During the 15-minute afternoon pre-qualifying/warm-up, Servia ran just four laps posting a time of 51.582 seconds (100.710 mph) placing him 14th on the individual practice report and dropping him to sixth on the combined report. In qualifying, Servia went out for his first stint with 22:30 remaining in the 30 minute session. He ran eight laps turning what would prove to be his fastest time on his eighth circuit. Servia's second stint began with nine minutes to go, but was interrupted three laps into the segment by a red flag. He returned to the track following the red flag with 2:20 to go and ran the final three laps of his total of 14 without improving his earlier time.

"I feel fifty fifty," Servia began. "I'm kinda happy because it is the fourth race in a row that we have qualified in the top-five, which is very competitive, it's very good. But, at the same time when you are that close to the front of the grid you want more. We are .5 from being top-three and I really think those tenths were in the car. I am just mad that I was not able to put it together, but anyway we are top-five again," he noted. "Fifth is a good place to start in a race where it is very easy to make a mistake. It is a good starting point we just need to keep the car together, have a mistake free race and we should be in good shape tomorrow," Servia concluded.

Servia, who is contesting his second Champ Car race in San Jose and ninth for PKV Racing has now qualified in the top-five in both his attempts on the 1.5-mile, seven turn temporary downtown street circuit. His best qualifying position is second, last year, when he finished third. The 32-year-old Catalan has now qualified in the top-10 eight times in nine attempts with four top-five starting positions, all in the last four races. In addition to today's fifth place qualifying spot, Servia has qualified a season high fourth in Cleveland; fifth in Edmonton and Toronto; seventh twice, Milwaukee and Monterrey, Mexico and eighth twice, Long Beach and Houston.

Servia has finished in the top-10 in five of the eight races this year including the team's only, podium showing of the season a third place performance in Cleveland. In addition to the podium, he finished fourth last weekend in Edmonton, eighth in Monterrey, fifth in Milwaukee, and 10th in Portland. After starting the season last in the points following a first lap incident in the season opener in Long Beach, Servia moved into the top-10 in the standings with a streak of four consecutive top-10 finishes. However, the streak was snapped in Toronto when Servia was knocked out of the race, while running in fifth. He finished 12th and fell back to 11th in the standings. His fourth place finish last week in Edmonton put him back in the top-10 in the championship race at a season high eighth with 118 points.

Servia, who is in his seventh season, will be making his 107th career Champ Car start this weekend, has earned 56 top-ten finishes including 28 top-five showings, 13 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 placing second last year.

Legge was 14th on the provisional grid with a time of 51.329 seconds (101.206 mph). In morning practice she posted the ninth fastest time of the session, and the weekend, turning a quick lap of 50.289 seconds (103.299 mph). Legge, like her teammate, only ran four laps in the warm-up clocking a time of 53.944 seconds (196.3004 mph) placing her 16th on the individual report and dropping her to 10th on the combined report. In qualifying, the Bell Micro -- PKV Racing team went out with the drop of the green flag and ran a long, 10 lap first stint. Legge posted her fastest qualifying lap on sixth circuit of the segment. She went out for her second stint with 14:30 remaining and turned five laps, but could not improve on her first segment time.

Legge, a rookie, will be making her ninth Champ Car start for PKV Racing and first at San Jose although she did compete here last year in the Atlantic Championships qualifying fourth and winning the race. The native of Great Britain has now qualified in the top-10 once, a career high eighth on the oval in Milwaukee, in eight attempts. She qualified a road/street course best 14th at Cleveland; 15th four times, Houston, Portland, Edmonton, and here in San Jose, plus 17th twice, Long Beach and Monterrey, Mexico. Legge has earned three top-10 finishes in her first eight Champ Car races, placing a season, and career, high sixth at Milwaukee, eighth in her Champ Car debut at Long Beach and eighth in Cleveland. She was 13th at Portland and here in Edmonton and 14th at Houston, Monterrey and Toronto (her only DNF of the season). The resident of Indianapolis, Indiana is 14th in the championship standings with 87 points and third in the in the Roshfrans Champ Car rookie of the year race (trails Will Power by 17 points and Dan Clarke by six).

PKV Racing will be making its third and fourth starts in two races this weekend in San Jose. The team has now qualified in the top-10 twice with Servia's fifth place starting position taking team honors (Jimmy Vasser started 10th last year). Their best finish is 10th by Cristiano da Matta (Jimmy Vasser.was 11th).

-www.pkvracing.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Oriol Servia , Katherine Legge , Will Power , Cristiano da Matta , Dan Clarke