CHAMPCAR/CART: Mexico City: PKV Racing Friday notes

PKV RACING'S PROVISIONALLY QUALIFIES FOURTH & NINTH FOR GRAN PREMIO TECATE MEXICO CITY, MEXICO -- FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2007 -- Round ...

PKV RACING'S PROVISIONALLY QUALIFIES FOURTH & NINTH FOR GRAN PREMIO TECATE

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO -- FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2007 -- Round #14 -- 2007 Champ Car World Series season -- PKV Racing's Oriol Servia qualified fourth while teammate Neel Jani was ninth on the provisional grid for Sunday's Gran Premio Tecate Presented by Banamex at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico.

Servia, #22 Pay By Touch PKV Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone car, qualified with a quick lap of 85.436 seconds, (116.887 mph) on the 2.774-mile, 17-turn permanent road course. Jani, #21 Red Bull Gulfstream PKV Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone entry, had a qualifying time of 86.156 seconds (115.911 mph).

Servia, who is contesting his second event for PKV Racing after replacing Tristan Gommendy two weeks ago in Australia, started the day strong posting a time of 87.798 seconds (113.743 mph) in the morning practice session. He was eighth in the 15-minute pre-qualifying warm-up with a time of 87.966 seconds (113.526 mph). In qualifying the Pay By Touch PKV Racing team decided to go with a three stint strategy, Servia took to the track for his first run on the Bridgestone primary (black) tires, just after the drop of the green flag for the 30 minute qualifying session. He ran five laps posting a quick time of 86.223 seconds (115.821 mph) on his third circuit temporarily placing him at the top of the speed charts. His second stint, also on the primary tire, began with 19:30 minutes remaining and went for four laps. Servia was unable to improve his time dropping him to fourth on the grid. Switching to the Bridgestone alternate (red) tire for the third stint, Servia went out with seven minutes remaining, turned five laps, posting his fast lap on his 13th and final lap of qualifying.

"Well it's obviously not what the Pay By Touch PKV Racing team were hoping for, but we are up there with the contenders," Servia said. "We need to work hard, so today was good considering it's a track I don't usually do well on and hopefully it will be even better tomorrow."

Jani like his teammate came out of the box strong, posting the fifth fastest time of the morning session with a lap of 87.146 seconds (114.594 mph). In the afternoon warm-up, remarkably Jani posted the exact same time as the morning session, however this time it was good for third on the speed charts. In qualifying Jani ran a traditional two stint session, taking to the track for the first time with 25 minutes remaining. Running on the Bridgestone black tire, he ran five laps posting his fastest qualifying lap on his fourth time around. For his second stint the Red Bull Gulfstream PKV Racing team decided to save the quicker alternate tires for tomorrow sending Jani out once again on the black tire for an additional five laps.

"On my first set of blacks I was quite good," Jani began. "I think I was fourth at the end of the run and we still had time in my pocket, one or two tenths," he said. "Most of the guys went on reds for their second run, we decided to stay on blacks because tomorrow the track will be quicker and he used the second run as a test session. We tried a change to the car but that didn't work out as well," Jani explained. "I am only 9th on the charts but still I am happy because I know that the Red Bull PKV Racing team will be quicker tomorrow," he concluded.

Servia who is in a battle for a top-five position in the season ending standings currently sits ninth with 212 points. He is just eight points out of fifth place. The determined 33-year--old from Pals, Catalonia, Spain has finished in the top-10 in 10 of his 12 starts this year (11 coming from Forsythe Championship Racing) with four top-five showings including two podium performances. He has qualified in the top-10 six times in 12 races.

The resident of Miami, Florida is making his seventh appearance in Mexico, has qualified in the top-10 four times, including the last three years, in his previous six races here, with the best starting position of fifth in 2004. He has finished in the top-10 four times with the best showing of fourth.

Jani is working on a streak of nine consecutive top-10 finishes, has a legitimate shot at becoming the first PKV Racing driver ever to finish in the top-five in the Championship standings (Vasser finished sixth in 2005). The 23-year-old native of Jens, Switzerland is currently sixth in the standings with 218 points; he is two points out of fifth and 16 out of fourth. Jani has finished in the top-10 in 11 of 13 races with top-five showings and a PKV team record of three podium performances. He has qualified in the top-10 a total of eight times in 13 attempts this year with a best starting position of fourth.

There will be another practice session tomorrow morning at 10:15 a.m. followed by final qualifying at 2:00 p.m. The Gran Premio Tecate Presented by Banamex Prix, November 9-11, at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico is the final round of the 2007 Champ Car World Series season. It will be televised live on ESPN2 at 2 p.m. (ET).

-credit: pkv

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Oriol Servia , Neel Jani , Tristan Gommendy