CHAMPCAR/CART: Edmonton: PKV Racing Friday report

PKV RACING EIGHTH AND 10th ON PROVISIONAL GRID FORWEST EDMONTON MALL GRAND PRIX EDMONTON, AB, CANADA -- FRIDAY, JULY 21, 2006 -- Round ...

PKV RACING EIGHTH AND 10th ON PROVISIONAL GRID FORWEST EDMONTON MALL GRAND PRIX

EDMONTON, AB, CANADA -- FRIDAY, JULY 21, 2006 -- Round #8 -- 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season -- PKV Racing's Oriol Servia and Katherine Legge provisionally qualified eighth and 10th for Sunday's West Edmonton Mall Grand Prix presented by The Brick in Edmonton, AB, Canada.

Servia, #6 Gulfsteam -- PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone, ran a fast time of 61.321 seconds (115.830 mph) on the 1.96-mile, 14 turn JAGflo Speedway temporary airport circuit.

Legge's time in the #20 Bell Micro -- PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone entry, came in at 61.417 seconds (115.649 mph). Should her top-10 qualifying position hold up in tomorrow's final qualifying it will be Legge's best starting position on a road/street circuit and the second best of the year behind the eighth place qualifying spot she earned on the Milwaukee Mile oval.

In morning practice, Servia slotted in with the sixth quickest time of the session running a fast lap of 61.448 seconds (115.590 mph). During the pre-qualifying practice/warm-up, Servia again clocked the sixth fastest time running a lap of 61.886 seconds (114.772 mph), which left him sixth on the combined practice report based on his morning time. With track continues improving by the minute the Gulfstream -- PKV Racing team gambled a bit waiting until there was just 18 and half minutes left in the 30-minute qualifying session to begin the run. Unfortunately, the gamble didn't pay off as Servia fell victim to a red flag at the start of his hot laps when A. J. Allmendinger went off track.

Forced into an alternate strategy the team decided to do one long stint. Servia went back out shortly after the fall of the green flag and with 11 minutes remaining ran a total of 10 laps. His fast lap came on lap nine, his seventh lap after the red flag.

"The Gulfstream -- PKV Racing team just couldn't put it together in qualifying today," Servia said. "I mean we had the red flag right at the start of our run. That forced us to change our qualifying strategy. Then when the tire pressures came up we ran into traffic. It was just one of those days." He noted. "I am not that unhappy because I know that the car is much better than what we showed today. We will make some adjustment for tomorrow, fine tune the car in morning practice then be ready for final qualifying. I am confident that we can move up the grid," Servia concluded.

Servia, who is contesting his second Champ Car race in Edmonton and eighth for PKV Racing, started fourth and finished second at last year's inaugural Edmonton Grand Prix. The 32-year-old Catalan, who climbed into the top-10 in the points following a streak of four consecutive top-10 finishes, had the streak snapped two weeks ago in Toronto when he was hit by Nelson Phillipe while running in fifth place. Servia has finished in the top-10 in four of the seven races this year including the team's first, and only, podium showing of the season a third place performance in Cleveland (eighth in Monterrey, fifth in Milwaukee, 10th in Portland). He has qualified in the top-10 in six of the seven races this year (fifth in Toronto; season high fourth, Cleveland; seventh twice, Milwaukee and Monterrey, Mexico; and eighth twice, Long Beach and Houston). Servia is currently 11th in the championship race with 95 points.

Servia, who is in his seventh season, will be making his 106th career Champ Car start this weekend. He has earned 55 top-ten finishes including 27 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 ended the morning practice 12th on the speed charts with a time of 62.358 seconds (113.904 mph). During the afternoon warm-up, Legge showed that the Bell Micro -- PKV Racing team had found more speed when she turned a quick lap of 62.048 seconds (114.473 mph). The placed her eighth on the individual practice report, but left her 12th on the combined report. In qualifying, the Bell Micro -- PKV Racing team pursued the same strategy as the Gulfstream crew with the same result. Legge, who began her stint with 20 minutes remaining in the session, pitted three laps into her run. Returned to the track at the drop of the green flag, with 12 minutes remaining, she ran a total of 12 laps, nine after the red flag, notching her fast lap on the eighth lap overall and fifth after the red.

"Qualifying went well today for the Bell Micro -- PKV Racing team," Legge began. "This was my second best qualifying effort of the year behind Milwaukee and my best on a road or street circuit. I could have gone quicker, I know everyone else is saying that, but it is reassuring being within a tenth of a second of Oriol (teammate Oriol Servia)," she explained. "Obviously I like the track because I won her last year in the Atlantics. I am looking forward to tomorrow and I am very confident we can improve in final qualifying because the car feels really good," Legge concluded.

PKV Racing will be making its third and fourth starts in two races this weekend in Edmonton. The team has qualified in the top-10 twice with a best starting position of fifth by Cristiano da Matta last year. Their best finish is 11th by Jimmy Vasser.

-www.pkvracing.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Oriol Servia , Katherine Legge , Cristiano da Matta , Nelson Philppe