Visteon/Patrick Racing qualifies 19th on provisional grid for inaugural Gran Premio Telmex-Gigante. MEXICO CITY, MEXICO -- FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2002 -- Round ...
Visteon/Patrick Racing qualifies 19th on provisional grid for inaugural Gran Premio Telmex-Gigante.
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO -- FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2002 -- Round #19 of the 2002 FedEx Championship Series - Visteon/Patrick Racing qualified 19th today on the provisional grid for Sunday's inaugural Gran Premio Telmex-Gigante presented by Banamex/Visa at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico.
Driver Oriol Servia, behind the wheel of the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing entry, with Toyota power and Bridgestone tires, was 18th on the morning practice report with a fast time of 89.836 seconds (111.643 mph) on the challenging 2.747-mile permanent road course. In the short pre-qualifying afternoon practice, Servia dropped to 19th on the individual speed charts with a time of 90.894 seconds (110.344 mph) and 22nd on the combined practice report based on his morning time. During provisional qualifying the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team continued to experiment with various setups as they searched for the proper balance that would propel the car to the upper half of the grid. Unfortunately, red flags and rain hampered their efforts, as Servia was able to manage a quick lap of only 89.659 seconds (111.864 mph).
"Obviously the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team had some problems today," Servia said. "We have a lot of understeer, which makes it difficult to turn the car. I am a little surprised because I thought we would be much better on this circuit than we have shown," he explained. "The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team has a lot of work ahead of us. We are going to review all of our data and start from the beginning. But, I am confident that we will find the right balance for the car. We had a similar situation at Fontana, but we eventually worked our way through the problem and in the race we had the fastest lap. Hopefully, it won't rain tomorrow and we will be able to improve the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing car and move up on the grid," Servia concluded.
The 28-year-old native of Pals, Catalonia, Spain, who is making his 53rd career CART start, 13th of the 2002 season and tenth behind the wheel of the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing entry, has qualified in the top-ten in two of 12 attempts this year and two of nine since joining Visteon/Patrick Racing. His best starting position is ninth achieved at Australia and Elkhart Lake. Visteon/Patrick Racing has qualified in the top-ten seven times in 18 races this season.
Servia is coming off an impressive performance two weeks ago at The 500 on the California Speedway oval in Fontana, California where he started last, but with the help of some outstanding work by the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team, battled his way to a fifth place finish. He has finished in the points in seven of the 12 races he has contested this year and in the top- ten five times with a best showing of fourth at the Rockingham 500 in Corby, England. The resident of Miami, Florida is 17th in the point standings with 40.
The Gran Premio Telmex-Gigante presented by Banamex/Visa will be televised live on Sunday, November 17 from 4:00 - 6:30 PM (ET) on Speed Channel. The pre-race show will air from 3:30 - 4:00 PM (ET). Speed Channel will televise Saturday, November 16, qualifying tape delayed from 3:30 - 5:00 PM (ET).