Dorricott Racing Toronto Qualifying Notes

SERVIA TOPS DORRICOTT QUALIFIERS AT TORONTO TORONTO, Ont., Canada (July 17, 1999) - - Oriol Servia, of Pals, Catalonia, Spain, rebounded from modest practice and provisional qualifying times to gain a second row starting spot in ...

SERVIA TOPS DORRICOTT QUALIFIERS AT TORONTO

TORONTO, Ont., Canada (July 17, 1999) - - Oriol Servia, of Pals, Catalonia, Spain, rebounded from modest practice and provisional qualifying times to gain a second row starting spot in Sunday's seventh round of the 1999 PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship at Toronto's Exhibition Place. Qualifying began on schedule at 11:15 a.m. (ET) under clear skies and temperatures near 90 degrees. It's only interruption was early when Mario Dominguez, of Mexico, clipped the wall in turn one, breaking off the rear wing in a lap which was fastest at that time. Dominguez was able to return unaided to pit lane where he retired for the session. Less than two minutes were lost to the incident. Servia, who has started from the pole this season at Nazareth and Portland, was in contention for Sunday's pole to the final minute of the 30-minute session before finishing fourth fastest at 1:04.559 = 97.864 mph. Geoff Boss led the 20-car field with a track record 1:04.437 = 98.049 mph. Servia was running second fastest with less than two minutes remaining in the session when Airton Dare burst ahead to claim the outside pole at 1:04.459 = 98.016 mph. Didier Andre likewise found a clean, final lap to slip ahead of Servia into third place. "This was much better," said Servia. "We weren't on the top of our game when we arrived in Toronto so I think we turned the corner on our set-up. Alain Clarinval (team engineer) was outstanding again. He smoothed the car out over the bumps. Fourth place in qualifying here was tougher than winning the poles at Nazareth and Portland. I also had to alternate fast laps with slow laps because the tires were getting too hot and losing grip." Dorricott Racing teammate Philipp Peter, of Monte Carlo, Monaco, had session-long difficulties finding an uncluttered lap but maneuvered around enough traffic for the ninth fastest time of 1:04.869 = 97.396 mph. "I'm not happy with the results but the car wasn't too bad," said Peter. "I had trouble finding a clean lap. There were a lot of cars bunched up and creating too much traffic. The only clean lap I had was blocked by Didier Andre. It's not the first time this year he's been an obstacle to the Dorricott men. The tires were gone by the last lap so I couldn't make a 'dash or crash' type of run. It's a pity. Just a couple of hundredths of a second would have placed me much higher on the starting grid. Starting ninth stinks." Casey Mears, of Bakersfield, Calif., finally found the right formula for a fast car, but ran out of time in recording it as his Sooner Trailer/American Racing Custom Wheels Lola qualified 19th after running 1:06.286 = 95.314 mph. One of the key factors which handicapped Mears in qualifying was having to miss eight minutes of green flag time to serve a CART-issued penalty from a previous session. Another factor was the decision by Mears and company to re-write the entire car set-up in favor of using Peter's set-up. The decision was made less than ninety minutes before qualifying was to begin. A unified team effort miraculously re-prepared the car with only minutes to spare. Despite the poor starting position, Mears expressed satisfaction that the car had favorably changed. His comfort level in the car's stability suggested a subtle confidence that he can climb through Sunday's field. "We changed our set-up to what Philipp (Peter) was using," said Mears. "It was quite a bit better. I was just getting a feel for it when I had to return to the pits to serve a penalty CART hit us with yesterday. It figured that would happen. I was just starting to drop times and actually ran one of my best laps of the weekend on the last lap before I had to shut it down. I have a quicker car but starting in the back stinks at this place. Passing doesn't come easy here." Sunday's Indy Lights sprint is set to drop the green flag at 11:30 a.m. (ET) for 43 laps around Toronto's 1.721-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit at Exhibition Place. Same day, televised coverage of the race on ESPN2 will be Sunday afternoon from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (ET).

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Casey Mears , Didier André , Airton Daré , Oriol Servia , Mario Dominguez , Geoff Boss , Philipp Peter