CHAMPCAR/CART: Long Beach: Patrick Racing preview

Visteon/Patrick Racing's Servia looking to put it all together at Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. JACKSON, MI - - APRIL 3, 2003 - - Visteon/Patrick Racing driver Oriol Servia will be looking to put all the elements for victory together at ...

Visteon/Patrick Racing's Servia looking to put it all together at Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

JACKSON, MI - - APRIL 3, 2003 - - Visteon/Patrick Racing driver Oriol Servia will be looking to put all the elements for victory together at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 11-13 on the temporary street circuit in Long Beach, California.

Servia has been one of the fastest drivers in every session since Spring Training. However, his efforts have been hampered by incidents that have prevented him from achieving the top-three results he was vying for in each of the first two events of the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season.

Servia has driven his #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing entry, which is powered by Ford and uses a Lola chassis and Bridgestone tires, to top-10 starting positions at both races. At the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg he started ninth after a spin in qualifying prevented a top-three qualifying spot. He came back to qualify fourth at the Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix, which is the second highest of his Champ Car career (qualified third at the 2001 Texas race, which was cancelled) and equaled his best career starting position (Nazareth - 2001). The 28-year-old native of Spain has finished in the points in one of the first two events placing 12th at St. Petersburg, as a couple of unforeseen problems robbed him of potential podium finishes.

"The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team has done a great job preparing the car the first two races of the season," Servia said. "Both the engineering staff and crew have done an outstanding job. We have been one of the fastest cars on the track in every session and I am sure we will be fast again in Long Beach. The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team has not achieved the results we would like, but I am confident that we can put everything together at Long Beach and have a very good result," he noted.

This will be Servia's fourth start with his fourth different team on the streets of Long Beach. In three previous races he has finished in the points twice with a best showing of sixth. In 2000 he started 21st and finished sixth with PPI Motorsports. He qualified 24th and finished 14th in 2001 with Sigma Autosport and then qualified 13th and finished 11th tenth in 2002 driving for PacWest Racing.

"I have always enjoyed the Long Beach Grand Prix," Servia began. "The circuit is very challenging and fun to drive. Plus, because of all the fans, the atmosphere is fantastic," he explained. "This is an important race for the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team. It is still earlier in the season, but this is a race that we have to score a lot of points so we don't fall too far behind the championship leaders," Servia concluded.

Patrick Racing will be making its 26th start at Long Beach. In 25 previous events the team has qualified in the top-10 a remarkable 18 times and in the top-five nine times with a best starting position of third (Emerson Fittipaldi - 1987 and Adrian Fernandez - 1998). They have finished in the points 14 times with eight top-10 showings and six top-five performances. The team's best finish is second (Fittipaldi - 1985 and Scott Pruett - 1995).

Servia, who is in his fourth Champ Car season and second with Visteon/Patrick Racing, will be making his 56th career CART start and 13th with the team. The resident of Miami, Florida has finished in the points in six of his 12 starts for Visteon/Patrick Racing with four top-10 finishes and two top-five performances. In 55 Champ Car starts, Servia has earned 23 top-ten finishes including six top-five showings and one podium, a career best third place performance at the 2000 Detroit Grand Prix.

The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be televised live on Speed Channel. Saturday, April 12, qualifying will be aired live from 4:30 PM (ET). The pre-race show will begin at 3:30 PM (ET) on Sunday, April 13, with the race shown live beginning at 4:00 PM (ET).

For background, statistical information, releases, notes, quotes plus updates on race weekends, go to (www.patrickracing.com).

-pr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Scott Pruett