CHAMPCAR/CART: Surfers Paradise: PKV Racing Saturday notes

2007 Champ Car World Series season - PKV Racing qualified on the front row with Oriol Servia starting in second place while teammate Neel Jani places eighth for tomorrow's Lexmark Indy 300 Champ Car Grand Prix in Surfers Paradise, Queensland, ...

2007 Champ Car World Series season - PKV Racing qualified on the front row with Oriol Servia starting in second place while teammate Neel Jani places eighth for tomorrow's Lexmark Indy 300 Champ Car Grand Prix in Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia.

Servia, #22 Pay By Touch PKV Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone car, qualified with a fast lap of 90.693 seconds (110.946 mph) on the 2.795-mile, 12-turn street course. Jani, #21 Red Bull Gulfstream PKV Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone entry, had a qualifying time of 91.281 seconds (110.231 mph) putting him on row #4.

Servia started the day in the knowledge that he would be on the front row of the grid. Even with this in mind, the team worked hard during morning practice to improve the setup allowing him to continue being the fastest driver out there, posting a quick time of 91.225 seconds (110.299 mph) putting him top of the charts. During the 15-minute afternoon practice/warm-up, he was unable to create a fast lap due to two red flags, resulting in sixth place on the charts with a time of 93.535 seconds (107.575 mph). Qualifying began with another red flag six minutes in, causing Servia to sit in the pits and wait. Once green, he went out for his first stint of four laps on the primary (black) tires setting a time of 91.893 and placing him second. During the brief break, a quick change of ECU (Electronic Control Unit) and red tires, Servia went back out to challenge for pole position, however despite driving faster than yesterday he was unable to remain in pole and slipped back to second setting a time of 90.693 seconds (110.946 mph).

Servia, has now qualified in the top-10 six times in 12 attempts with today's starting spot of second being his season's best. The 33-year-old resident of Miami, Florida currently sits sixth in the championship standings with 204 points, just five points out of fifth, 34 out of third and 39 out of second. So far this year he has finished in the top-10 in 10 of his 11 starts with four top-five showings including two podium performances (second at Long Beach and third at San Jose).

"I am actually happy with the car, this morning the car was just perfect, easy to drive, fast and this afternoon was still good", Servia said. "In the first run we had some problems with the engine, it sounded like it was dirty, there was a lot of hesitation and we changed the ECU for the second run and it made it a little better but there was still some kind of problem, so we just have to solve it for tomorrow. The car feels great, we are on the front row so we have potential for tomorrow".

Jani started the day in 5th on the provisional grid following yesterday's qualifying, with a time of 92.520 seconds (108.755 mph). During this morning's practice, Jani was unfortunate to have a spin on the first corner bringing out a red flag and preventing him from moving up the speed charts. He ended up in 12th place with a time of 93.069 seconds (108.113 mph). In the afternoon warm-up, Jani also suffered with the red flags, putting him in seventh place behind his team mate with a time of (93.686 seconds (107.401 mph). In the final qualifying, he waited till after the red flag, then using his first set of red tires began his first stint. He went six laps and recorded a time of 92.004 seconds putting him in 12th place. For his final run, Jani changed to another set of red tires and was able to gain four places on his final lap putting him up into eighth place, and bak into the top-10.

He has now qualified in the top-10 a total of 11 times in 13 attempts with a best starting position of fourth at Houston and Assen. He is ninth in laps led (30) and third in both laps (923) and miles (2011.839) completed. The 23-year-old native of Jens, Switzerland has finished in the top-10 ten times in 12 races and is on a streak of eight consecutive top-10 finishes, including three podium performances (seconds at Toronto and San Jose and third in Cleveland). Jani is currently seventh in the championship standings, six points away from fifth, 35 from third and 40 from second. He also lies third in the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year race with 203 points.

Jani commented on his qualifying position, "My first set of reds, I struggled a little bit and was unable to get a good lap. I also had quite a bit of under steer. On the second set it was a little better, the car felt more stable, I had a lot more front grip, but still for my driving style I will need a little more compliance in the front, we also need to find out why I am loosing some top speed.

I need to attack the corners differently and that is where I struggle on this circuit quite a bit at the moment".

Credit: pkv

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Oriol Servia , Neel Jani