CHAMPCAR/CART: Edmonton: PKV Racing race report



Legge Places 13th

EDMONTON, AB, CANADA -- SUNDAY, JULY 23, 2006 -- Round #8 -- 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season -- PKV Racing's Oriol Servia placed fourth while teammate Katherine Legge placed 13th today at the West Edmonton Mall Grand Prix in Edmonton, AB, Canada. Teammate Katherine placed 13th.

The fourth place showing for Servia, who pilots the #6 Gulfsteam -- PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone machine, was his second best finish of the season behind a third place performance in Cleveland. It was also his fifth top-10 finish in the last six races and third top-five showing of the season. Legge, had to overcome two early incidents, demonstrated her trademark determination to fight back and salvage valuable championship points.

Servia, who started fifth, held station through the first round of pit stops which occurred between laps 34-37. On lap 41, Paul Tracy, who was running second, went "off and on." Servia moved up to fourth with Tracy rejoining the race in fifth. The two then battled for the remainder of the race with Tracy passing Servia and moving into fourth following a yellow flag re-start on lap 69 and Servia returning the favor after a second yellow re-start on lap 72. Once back in fourth place, Servia tried to put pressure on A. J. Allmendinger, who was running third in hopes of forcing him into mistake that would have put Servia on the podium. However, Allmendinger, who was coming off three consecutive wins, held on denying Servia his second podium, but giving him his second best finish of the season.

"I am extremely happy with the performance of the Gulfstream -- PKV Racing team today," Servia began. "We had a solid race and finished in the top-five again. When you are so close to the podium you really want to deliver for the team because they have worked so hard to get us closer to the front. Last race we were going to finish in the top-five, today we did," he said. "We just need to keep pushing. If every weekend we are in the top-five, we will be on the podium soon and often. And once we are on the podium often, then we are going to win some races. And once we win some races, we are going to win often. We are taking the right steps and we just need to keep pushing," Servia concluded.

Servia, who contested his second Champ Car race in Edmonton and eighth for PKV Racing today, has finished in the top-four in both his starts on the 1.96-mile, 14 turn JAGflo Speedway temporary airport circuit with a best showing of second last year. He has qualified in the top-five both times with best starting position of fourth, last year (fifth this year).

The 32-year-old Catalan has now finished in the top-10 in five of the eight races this year including the team's only, podium showing of the season a third place performance in Cleveland. In addition to podium and today's fourth place finish, Servia has finished eighth in Monterrey, fifth in Milwaukee, and 10th in Portland. Servia has qualified in the top-10 seven times in eight attempts with three top-five starting positions, all in the last three races. He qualified a season high fourth in Cleveland; fifth twice, Edmonton and Toronto; seventh twice, Milwaukee and Monterrey, Mexico and eighth twice, Long Beach and Houston.

After starting the season last in the points, when he was the innocent victim of a first lap incident at the season opener in Long Beach, Servia had moved into the top-10 in the standings following a streak of four consecutive top-10 finishes. However, after the streak was snapped two weeks ago in Toronto when he was knocked out of the race by Nelson Phillipe, Servia came into Edmonton sitting just outside the top-10 in 11th. Today's fourth place finish earned him 23 points jumping him three places in the championship race to a season high eighth with 118 points.

Servia, who is in his seventh season, made his 106th career Champ Car start today. He has earned 56 top-ten finishes including 28 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, who qualified 15th, dropped to 16th on the opening lap when she had to maneuver to avoided Bruno Junqueira, who spun in the first corner of the first lap and Cristiano da Matta, who went into the tires as cars tried to avoid Junqueira. She moved back into 15th place when Junqueira pitted on the second lap, but nearly had her race end on the fifth lap. Coming around a corner she slammed on the brakes to avoid Nicky Pastorelli, who spun into the tire barrier, but ended up damaging her own car when she made contact with the stranded vehicle. Keeping the car running she immediately pitted where the Bell Micro -- PKV Racing crew quickly and efficiently affected repairs. Rejoining the race in 16th place (da Matta and Pastorelli out), but one lap down, Legge moved back into 15th place on lap six when Jan Heylan pitting. Legge had one more incident, when she slide into the tire barrier on lap 34, but after pitting again for another new wing, came back out still in 15th, albeit 12 laps off the pace. Legge, whose determination and tenacity are well documented, continued to fight through the remainder of the race. Her efforts were rewarded when two other cars fell out of the race allowing her to move into 13th in the final standings.

"It was a disappointing race for the Bell Mirco -- PKV Racing team," Legge said. "I had a couple of incidents out there that put us in a hole. I really want to thank the whole Bell Micro -- PKV Racing crew. They worked hard all weekend and especially hard in the race. They did a great job," she noted. "Now, we just have to regroup and get the job done in San Jose. The good news is the hard work is paying off. We had a fast car here in Edmonton and I expect that we will also be fast next week in San Jose," Legge concluded.

PKV Racing made its third and fourth starts in two races today in Edmonton. Servia's fourth place showing is the teams best finish surpassing Jimmy Vasser's 11th place performance last year. The team has qualified in the top-10 three times in four tries with Servia's fifth place starting position tying Cristiano da Matta, last year, for team honors.

Next up for PKV Racing is the Canary Foundation Grand Prix of San Jose presented by Taylor Woodrow, Round #9 of the 2006 Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, July 28-303, on the temporary downtown street circuit in San Jose, CA. The race will be broadcast live on NBC at 3:00 p.m. (ET).

-pkv racing

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