CHAMPCAR/CART: Elkhart Lake: Patrick Racing race report

Fuel Pressure Problem Ends Outstanding Performance By Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia ELKHART LAKE, WISCONSIN -- SUNDAY, AUGUST 18, 2002 -- Round ...

Fuel Pressure Problem Ends Outstanding Performance By Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia

ELKHART LAKE, WISCONSIN -- SUNDAY, AUGUST 18, 2002 -- Round #12 of the 2002 FedEx Championship Series - A fuel pressure problem brought an end to an outstanding performance by Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia placing him 16th today in the Grand Prix at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Servia was running in sixth place and about to make a strategic pit stop when, on lap 36 of the 60-lap competition, his car sputtered to a stop at the bottom of the hill that leads to the pits. The screen on the steering wheel of the in the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing entry, which is powered by Toyota and runs with Bridgestone tires, read "fuel pressure". After the car was returned to the garage it was discovered that a gallon of fuel was still on board.

The bad luck ended what had been a tremendous performance by the talented 28-year-old native of Pals, Catalonia, who was competing in just his third race with Visteon/Patrick Racing and sixth race of the season. Starting a season high ninth, Servia dropped to 11th at the start of the race. On lap five he moved up to tenth and from that point on he was never out of the top-ten except when he made his first pit stop on lap 14. Combining a dash of pit strategy, a pinch of race craft and some excellent driving, including a phenomenal pass of Dario Franchitti, Servia ran as high as fifth and was on course for a sure top-five showing and, as it turned out, a possible podium finish.

"The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team doesn't know exactly what happened. I lost fuel pressure, but we still had a gallon of fuel in the car," Servia said. "These things happen in racing. To run up front you are always running on the fine edge and sometimes things go wrong. It is unfortunate because the Visteon/Patrick Racing car was very quick. It just didn't happen for us today," he noted. "But, there is always next week in Montreal. That should also be a good track for the Visteon/Patrick Racing car. Our car works well on fast corners and I think Montreal has fast corners so we should be in good shape there," Servia concluded.

Servia, who ran the first three races of the season with PacWest Racing before joining Visteon/Patrick Racing for the last three events, has finished in the points in four of his six starts this year placing in the top-ten three times with a best showing of sixth at the Bridgestone Potenza 500 in Motegi, Japan. He is currently in 19th place in the championship standings with 16 points.

A resident of Miami, Florida, Servia has impressed the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team with his knowledge and driving skill since signing just before the Vancouver race on July 30. In his other two races with the team he 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. In addition to his three starts with Visteon/Patrick Racing, Servia qualified 11th and finished 13th at the Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix, started 13th and finished 11th at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and qualified 20th in Japan where he placed sixth. All three races were run with PWR before the team ceased operations.

Servia, who is in his third CART season (46 starts), now has two top-ten finishes in three starts at Road America (2000 - qualified 14th, finished tenth; 2001 - 18th and tenth; 2002 - ninth and 16th). For Patrick Racing this was their 27th appearance at Road America. The team has now qualified in the top-ten 16 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).

Next up for Visteon/Patrick Racing is the Molson Indy Montreal on August 23-25 at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Molson Indy Montreal will be televised on at 3:00 PM (ET) on Speed Channel.

-pr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Oriol Servia , Emerson Fittipaldi
Teams ART Grand Prix , HART