Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia qualifies 12th for tomorrow's CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio. LEXINGTON, OHIO -- SATURDAY, AUGUST 10, 2002 -- Round ...
Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia qualifies 12th for tomorrow's CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio.
LEXINGTON, OHIO -- SATURDAY, AUGUST 10, 2002 -- Round #11 of the 2002 FedEx Championship Series - Visteon/Patrick Racing driver Oriol Servia qualified 12th today and will start on the outside of row six in tomorrow's CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
Servia, who is competing in his second event for Visteon/Patrick Racing, began the day 13th on the grid with a time of 68.087 seconds (199.388 mph) following Friday's provisional qualifying. In Saturday morning practice the team appeared to have made great strides in the setup of the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing car and looked like a sure top-ten qualifier. Servia spent most of the 75-minute morning session running between fourth and seventh on the speed charts. Unfortunately, a loose switch caused some engine problems at the end of the practice and Servia dropped to 11th on the individual and combined practice reports with a fast time of 67.421 seconds (120.568 mph).
However, the gains made in the morning practice did not fully translate in this afternoon's final qualifying. Although the team continued to improve the car, so did most of the rest of the field. Servia spent considerable time just inside the top-ten during qualifying, running anywhere from eighth to tenth, but in the end his quick lap of 67.058 seconds (121.220 mph) moved him up just one place on the grid.
"The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team was looking to make progress today and we ended up picking up one place. That is not as much as we wanted," Servia remarked wryly. "In the morning practice we felt the car was a lot better than yesterday. We thought we had found more speed, but obviously we are still not where we want to be. The car is much better than in Vancouver and even than yesterday. It is very consistent, especially in the fast corners. That is important because it gives you confidence that you can drive hard during the race. I think the car will be good in the race and I am looking forward to having a good result," Servia concluded.
Mid-Ohio tomorrow. His 12th place qualifying position is his best in three attempts here (2000 - 17th; 2001 - 26th) and the second highest in five races this season (qualified 11th in Monterrey, Mexico). Servia has finished in the top-ten in both his previous races at Mid-Ohio placing tenth in 2000 and ninth last year.
Patrick Racing will be making its 27th start at Mid-Ohio. In 26 previous races they have qualified in the top-ten 13 times and in the top-five four times. They have finished in the top-ten 16 times, with nine top-five showings including two wins. Emerson Fittipaldi captured the team's first victory in 1988. In 1998, Patrick Racing swept the top-two spots with Adrian Fernandez taking the win and Scott Pruett piloting the Visteon/Patrick Racing car to a runner-up showing.
Now in his third CART season (44 starts), Servia began the season running the first three events with Pac West Racing. The resident of Miami, Florida finished in the points in all three of those races placing in the top-ten twice with a best showing of sixth in Motegi, Japan. When PWR ceased operations, Servia was forced to sit out the next six contests before signing with Visteon/Patrick Racing. He is currently 19th in the championship standings with 13 points.
The CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio will be televised on Sunday, August 11 at 12:30 PM (ET) on CBS.