CHAMPCAR/CART: Mid-Ohio: Patrick Racing Friday report

Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia seventh on provisional grid for Champ Car Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio LEXINGTON, OHIO - FRIDAY AUGUST 8, 2003 -- Round ...

Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia seventh on provisional grid for Champ Car Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio

LEXINGTON, OHIO - FRIDAY AUGUST 8, 2003 -- Round #13 - 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season -- Visteon/Patrick Racing driver Oriol Servia qualified seventh on the provisional grid for Sunday's Champ Car Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio at the Mid- Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

Servia, 29, piloted the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing entry, which is powered by Ford/Cosworth and uses a Lola chassis with Bridgestone tires, to a quick time of 67.801 seconds (119.892 mph) in qualifying.

The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team began the day running on very old rain tires in an effort to conserve their allotment of rubber for later in the weekend. Servia ran a fast lap of 77.239 seconds (105.242 mph) in the first of two 50-minute practices, which placed him 14th on the individual practice report. By the second practice the Visteon/Patrick Racing engineering staff was well into their setup progression and Servia quickly moved up the speed charts. At the end of the session he had clocked a quick time of 69.265 seconds (117.358 mph), which placed him seventh on both the individual and combined practice reports.

During the ten-minute warm-up prior to qualifying the team continued to develop the setup. Servia posted a fast time of 69.280 seconds (117.333 mph) during the warm-up, which initially put him among the leaders. However, with things looking good Servia pitted with about two minutes left in the session. Several drivers subsequently turned their fast laps dropping Servia to 12th on the individual practice report and 13th on the combined report following the third practice.

The Visteon/Patrick Racing crew made some additional adjustments just prior to the start of qualifying. Then with 25 minutes remaining in the 40- minute session and track conditions improving, Servia went out on his first set of tires. On the sixth of his seven lap first stint he ran a time of 68.23 seconds, which initially put him fourth on the grid. Servia pitted on the next lap sitting ninth on the grid. Wasting no time the team quickly made some final changes and put on the second set of tires. With 11 minutes remaining, Servia, now in 12th place, was back on track for his second and final run. On his seventh lap of the second stint, 14th overall, Servia ran his fastest time of the day.

"I am not very happy with the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team's qualifying effort today," Servia said. "I expected us to qualify higher than seventh because we had such a good test here at Mid-Ohio a month ago. The track has changed some since then, but it is the same for everybody. Right now we have a little too much understeer, so we need to find some more front grip," he explained. "The Visteon/Patrick Racing engineering staff has us headed in the right direction and with some fine-tuning the car will be nice. Especially when there is more rubber on the track. I am very confident the Visteon/Patrick racing Team will improve its position tomorrow in final qualifying," Servia concluded.

The native of Pals, Catalonia, Spain, who will be making his fourth start at Mid-Ohio, has enjoyed some solid results on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn permanent road circuit. He qualified 17th and finished 10th in '00, started 26th and placed ninth in '01 and started 12th and finished 10th in '02 (his second start for Visteon/Patrick Racing).

Servia has qualified in the top-10 at all 12 events this season, which is his CART career high. His highest starting position this year is fourth at Monterrey, Mexico; Brands Hatch, England, Cleveland, Ohio at last weekend at Elkhart Lake. Servia's best CART career qualifying position is third at Texas in 2001 (race was cancelled). His highest career starting position is fourth, first achieved at Nazareth in 2001, and then matched at the four events this season.

Servia is enjoying the best season of his four-year CART career. He has scored points in nine of the 12 races this year and has finished in the top- six in seven of his last nine events. Servia has earned a single season high five top-five finishes including a CART career best second place showing (Milwaukee). Additionally, he has set personal CART career records for consecutive top-six finishes, seven, top-10 showings, seven and points paying performances, eight. Servia is currently sixth in the championship standings with 76 points.

The resident of Miami, Florida will be making his 66th career CART start and 23rd for Visteon/Patrick Racing this weekend. In 65 CART career events he has earned 30 top-ten finishes including 11 top-five showings with two podium performances. In his 22 starts with Visteon/Patrick Racing, 10 in 2002 and 12 this year, Servia has finished in the points 14 times with 11 top-10 finishes including seven top-five showings and one podium (Milwaukee).

Patrick Racing will be making its 27th start at Mid-Ohio. In 26 previous races the team has qualified in the top-10 a total of 13 times with a best starting position of third (Fittipaldi - '86). They have 17 top-10 finishes, nine top-five showings and two wins (Fittipaldi - '88; Adrian Fernandez in -98). In 1998 the team placed one/two with Scott Pruett, in the Visteon/Patrick Racing entry, finishing second.

The Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio will be televised live on Speed Channel on Sunday, August 10, at 2:00 PM (ET). The pre-race show will begin at 1:30 PM (ET). Speed will also air qualifying on Saturday, August 9, beginning at 4:00 PM (ET).

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Oriol Servia , Scott Pruett