CHAMPCAR/CART: Denver: PKV Racing Saturday report

PKV RACING QUALIFIES EIGHTH AND 15TH FOR FOR GRAND PRIX OF DENVER DENVER, CO -- SATURDAY, AUGUST 12, 2006 -- Round ...

PKV RACING QUALIFIES EIGHTH AND 15TH FOR FOR GRAND PRIX OF DENVER

DENVER, CO -- SATURDAY, AUGUST 12, 2006 -- Round #10 -- 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season -- PKV Racing's Oriol Servia qualified eighth while teammate Katherine Legge will start 15th in tomorrow's Grand Prix of Denver sponsored by Bridgestone in Denver, Colorado.

Servia, who qualified the #6 Gulfstream -- PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone in the top-10 for the ninth time in 10 attempts, posted a fast lap of 60.096 seconds (99.261 mph). He will start on the outside of Row #4. Legge, who will line-up on the inside of Row #8 in the #20 Bell Micro -- PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone car, ran a lap of 61.370 seconds (97.201 mph).

Servia was sixth on the grid following yesterday's provisional qualifying with a fast lap of 61.302 seconds (97.308 mph). In morning practice, he posted the fifth fastest lap of the session clocking a time of 60.807 seconds (98.101 mph), which also placed him fifth on the combined practice report. During the 15-minute afternoon pre-qualifying/warm-up, Servia turned a lap of 60.846 seconds (98.038 mph) placing him eighth on both the individual and combined practice reports. Servia went out for his first qualifying stint with a little over 20 minutes remaining in the 30 minute session. He ran eight laps posting a fast lap of 60.468 seconds on his eighth circuit, which put him ninth on the speed charts. His second stint began with 10 minutes to go and went for seven more laps, a total of 15. He recorded his fast time on the last lap.

"The Gulfstream -- PKV Racing car was actually not that bad," Servia said. "We are not that far off from being in the top-five. Obviously we are not happy qualifying eighth, but it is a tough track to get a lap together. We are just .17 from being fifth and if we were we would be a lot happier," he noted. "The Gulfstream -- PKV Racing team just needs to keep working. It is going to be a long race and this is a track where it is easy to make a mistake," Servia concluded.

Servia, who will be contesting his fifth Champ Car race in Denver and tenth for PKV Racing, has now qualified in the top-10 four times with a best starting position of second in 2003 on the 1.65-mile, nine-turn Denver temporary street circuit. The native of Catalunya, Spain has finished in the top-six three times in four races, all in the last three years, with a best finish of third in 2003 (sixth, 04; fourth, 05).

Servia has been remarkably consistent in qualifying the whole season. His nine top-10 qualifying efforts include four consecutive top-five starting spots, a streak which was snapped today. Servia is the first driver in PKV Racing's three plus year history to qualify in the top-five in four consecutive races. In addition to today's eighth place starting position, Servia qualified a season high fourth in Cleveland, fifth in Edmonton, Toronto and San Jose; seventh twice, Milwaukee and Monterrey, Mexico, eighth twice, Long Beach and Houston, and 12th in Portland. He has finished in the top-10 in six of the nine races this year (six of the last seven events) including three top five showings and the team's only podium performance of the season a third place finish in Cleveland.

In addition to the podium in Cleveland, Servia finished fourth in Edmonton, fifth in Milwaukee, eighth in Monterrey and San Jose and 10th in Portland. The resident of Miami, Florida, who is fifth in laps led with 30 and tied for seventh in laps completed (816 of 911), is tied with the injured Cristiano da Matta for seventh in the championship standings with 134 points, however, he is listed as eighth because da Matta owns the tiebreaker with a season high second place showing versus Servia's third.

Legge was 12th on the provisional grid with a time of 61.777 seconds (96.560 mph). In morning practice she notched a fast lap of 61.441 seconds (97.088 mph) placing her 12th on both the individual and combined practice reports. During the afternoon warm-up Legge was 13th on the practice report with a time of 61.369 seconds (97.202 mph). The Bell Micro -- PKV Racing team went out with the drop of the green flag for qualifying. Legge ran a seven lap first stint posting a fast time of 62.378. She went out for her second stint with 16 minutes remaining and turned eight more laps running her quick time on the third lap of the second stint, her 11th overall.

"Obviously, the Bell Micro -- PKV Racing team is not happy with the way qualifying went today," Legge said. "We have consistently been in the top-12 and I really thought we had a legitimate chance to be in the top-10 after final qualifying. I am not sure what went wrong, so we are going to go back to the transporter and review the data. I am confident that the PKV Racing team will come up with the answers and make the changes necessary to improve the car for tomorrow's race."

Legge, a rookie, will be making her tenth career Champ Car start and first at Denver tomorrow (ran in the Atlantic Championships last year qualifying fifth and finishing 17th). The native of Great Britain has now qualified in the top-10 once, a career high eighth on the oval in Milwaukee, in 10 attempts. She has qualified a road/street course best 14th at Cleveland; 15th six times, here in Denver, Houston, Portland, Toronto, Edmonton, and San Jose, plus 17th twice, Long Beach and Monterrey. Legge has earned three top-10 finishes in her first nine races, placing a season and career high sixth at Milwaukee, eighth in her Champ Car debut at Long Beach and eighth in Cleveland. In addition, she has finished 12th in San Jose, 13th at Portland and Edmonton, and 14th at Houston, Monterrey and Toronto. The resident of Indianapolis, Indiana is fourth in laps completed (850) and eighth in laps led with 12. Legge is 14th in the standings with 96 points and is just 30 points out of 10th place. She is third in the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year race (trails Will Power by 27 and Dan Clarke by two).

PKV Racing will be contesting its fourth race in as many years tomorrow in Denver. The team will be making its sixth and seventh starts on the Denver temporary street circuit. PKV Racing has now qualified in the top-10 three times with a best starting position of sixth by Jimmy Vasser last year (Cristiano da Matta started ninth). Their best finish is 12th by Roberto Gonzalez in 2005.

-credit: pkvracing.com

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