Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia qualifies ninth on provisional grid for Grand Prix at Road America. ELKHART LAKE, WISCONSIN -- FRIDAY, AUGUST 16, 2002 -- Round ...
Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia qualifies ninth on provisional grid for Grand Prix at Road America.
ELKHART LAKE, WISCONSIN -- FRIDAY, AUGUST 16, 2002 -- Round #12 of the 2002 FedEx Championship Series - Visteon/Patrick Racing driver Oriol Servia continued to show the improvement that has marked his brief tenure with the team qualifying ninth on the provisional grid for Sunday's Grand Prix at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
Servia, who is competing in his third event for Visteon/Patrick Racing, has made steady progress in his qualifying efforts since joining the team in Vancouver on July 30. The talented 28-year-old native of Pals, Catalonia, Spain qualified 15th for the Molson Indy Vancouver and finished 14th after a gearbox problem ended his day while running in ninth place. Two weeks later, at the CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio, Servia qualified 12th and finished tenth.
The resident of Miami, Florida began the day 11th on the speed charts following this morning's 90-minute practice with a fast time of 104.884 seconds (138.942 mph) on the 4.048-mile, 14-turn Road America permanent road circuit.
In afternoon provisional qualifying Servia spent most of the session in the top-five and part of it in the top-spot. He was sitting in fifth place when he began his last qualifying lap. According to the computer Servia was running .4 of a second quicker during his final run when, unfortunately, he ran into traffic. With his last lap aborted Servia settled for a quick qualifying time of 103.394 seconds (140.944 mph), which was surpassed by four other drivers on their final lap.
"The Visteon/Patrick Racing car is nice," Servia said. "We were running in the top-five most of the qualifying session then on the last lap I was having my best time when I ran into some traffic and lost the lap. The car is very good, so hopefully it won't rain tomorrow and the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team will get a chance to improve our position on the grid," he concluded.
Servia is competing at Road America for the third time. In 2000 he qualified 14th and finished tenth. Last year he started 18th and finished tenth. Patrick Racing is making its 27th appearance at Road America. In 26 previous races they have qualified in the top-ten 15 times and in the top-five eight times. Their best starting position is fourth in 1982, '86, '88 and '98. They have finished in the top-
ten 13 times, with eight top-five showings including two wins (Emerson Fittipaldi in 1986 and 1988).
Now in his third CART season (45 starts), Servia began the year running the first three races with Pac West Racing. When PWR ceased operations he sat out the next six events before signing with Visteon/Patrick Racing. Servia has finished in the points in four of his five starts this year and in the top-ten three times with a best showing of sixth at Motegi, Japan. He is currently in 19th place in the championship standings with 16 points.
The Grand Prix at Road America will be televised on Sunday, August 18 at 3:00 PM (ET) on Speed Channel. The pre-race show will air from 2:30 - 3:00 PM (ET). Speed Channel will televise final qualifying on Saturday, August 17, live from 2:30 - 4:00 PM (ET)