Visteon/Patrick Racing's Servia scores fourth consecutive top-10 qualifying position will start fourth for London Champ Car Trophy. KENT, ENGLAND -- SUNDAY, MAY 4, 2003 -- Round ...
Visteon/Patrick Racing's Servia scores fourth consecutive top-10 qualifying position will start fourth for London Champ Car Trophy.
KENT, ENGLAND -- SUNDAY, MAY 4, 2003 -- Round #4 - 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season - Visteon/Patrick Racing driver Oriol Servia earned his CART career high fourth consecutive top-10 starting position today when he qualified fourth for tomorrow's London Champ Car Trophy race on the Brands Hatch short course in Kent, England.
Servia, behind the wheel of the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing entry, which is powered by Ford/Cosworth and uses a Lola chassis and Bridgestone tires, also tied his CART career best starting position achieved at Nazareth in 2001 and Monterrey, Mexico this year. Servia's best CART career qualifying position is third at Texas in 2001, but the race was cancelled. The 28- year-old Spaniard has now qualified in the top-10 in the first four races of the 2003 season (ninth - St. Petersburg; fourth - Monterrey, Mexico; eighth - Long Beach).
"I am very happy with the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team's qualifying effort here at Brands Hatch and, in fact, this season," Servia said. "We have consistently been one of the fastest teams on the track since Spring Training, but have just had some bad luck in the races. The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team is one of the best in the series and we are capable of consistently finishing on the podium. I am confident that we will show our true form beginning with the race tomorrow."
Servia began the day fourth on the provisional grid following Saturday's qualifying with a fast time of 37.254 seconds (115.188 mph). In this morning's warm-up prior to final qualifying, Servia ran his fastest practice time turning a quick lap of 37.582 seconds (114.182 mph). However, by the time final qualifying began temperatures at the track had reach 95 degrees, 31 more than the previous day. In final qualifying, Servia notched a very solid lap of 37.442 seconds (114.609 mph), which was the sixth fastest of any driver this weekend, but almost .2 of a second slower then his provisional qualifying time.
"The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team did a very good job preparing the car for this weekend," Servia noted. "The engineering staff, led by Steve Challis, gave me a quick car from the first day. I think the testing we did in Arizona before we came to England really helped. We had some very good ideas about what we wanted to do with the setup and the car was quick right away. As it turned out, that was important because the weather got so much hotter the second day and our fastest time was in provisional qualifying," he explained.
Servia continued saying, "The Brands Hatch course and the qualifying rules for this event made qualifying very challenging. We went out one at a time and ran only four laps, so the tires didn't really reach their optimum temperature. That made it a little tricky on this circuit because the track is short; the corners fast and there are lots of elevation changes. Fortunately, the Bridgestone tires are very consistent so you could really push them on the last lap," Servia explained.
Commenting on the race Servia said, "This is going to be a very exciting race. It is 165 laps long and you are going to be in traffic all the time. It will be very demanding physically, so I think the driver who is in the best shape will prevail. And, of course, I think I am in the best shape."
The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team made solid progress all weekend. The team worked with the brakes using rain tires during the first of two practices on Saturday running a quick lap of 38.742 seconds (110.764 mph), which put them ninth on the speed charts. In the second practice session they began to show what they were really capable of turning a quick time of 37.627 seconds (114.046 mph). The fast time placed them sixth in the session and sixth on the combined practice report. In provisional qualifying they continued to improve and Servia ran his fastest time of the weekend.
Servia, who is in his fourth CART season and second with Visteon/Patrick Racing, will be making his 57th career CART start and 14th for Visteon/Patrick Racing this weekend. In 56 previous CART starts, Servia has earned 23 top-ten finishes including six top-five performances with a best showing of third at the 2000 Detroit Grand Prix. Servia has finished in the points in six of his 13 starts for Visteon/Patrick Racing with four top-10 finishes and two top-five performances. His best effort with the team is a fourth place showing last year at Rockingham, England. Servia has finished in the points in two of the first three events in 2003 placing 12th at St. Petersburg and Long Beach. He is 18th in the championship standings with two points.
Brands Hatch will be run on Monday, May 5, at 1:00 PM in England. It will be televised tape delayed on CBS on Saturday, May 10, at 1:00 PM (ET).
For background, statistical information, releases, notes, quotes plus updates on race weekends, go to (www.patrickracing.com).