CHAMPCAR/CART: Mid-Ohio: Patrick Racing preview

Visteon/Patrick Racing looking to start new streak beginning at Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio JACKSON, MI - - AUGUST 7, 2003 - - Round 13 - - 2003 CART World Series, presented by Bridgestone and powered by Ford - Visteon/Patrick Racing driver Oriol ...

Visteon/Patrick Racing looking to start new streak beginning at Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio

JACKSON, MI - - AUGUST 7, 2003 - - Round 13 - - 2003 CART World Series, presented by Bridgestone and powered by Ford - Visteon/Patrick Racing driver Oriol Servia will be looking to start a new streak of success beginning this weekend at the Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

Servia, who has been the victim of incidents in the last two events, is having the most successful season of his three plus year CART career. The talented 29-year-old Spaniard has piloted the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing entry, which is powered by Ford-Cosworth and uses a Lola chassis with Bridgestone tires, to points paying placements in nine of the 12 races this year including top-six showings 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 finish (Milwaukee). Additionally, he has set personal CART career records for consecutive top-six finishes, seven, top- 10 showings, seven and points paying performances, eight. The resident of Miami, Florida has also qualified in the top-10 in all 12 races this year, which is a career high. He is currently sixth in the championship standings with 76 points.

"The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team has been very consistent this season," Servia began. "We had a tough start to the year where we had the speed, but didn't finish among the leaders in the first three races. After that we produce some good results and moved up in the championship standings. Unfortunately, the last two races didn't work out the way we wanted. At Vancouver we didn't qualify well and got caught up with another car at the start of the race. Then, at Elkhart Lake we had a good qualifying effort, but I just made a mistake in the rain that cost us a good finish. In the course of season, you are going to have some rough spots. It is just the nature of racing. The key is to continue to work hard, put the bad races behind you and do your best the next time out," Servia explained. "The Visteon/Patrick Racing crew and engineering staff have done a great job this year. I am confident that with the strength of this team and the leadership of Mr. Patrick and Jim McGee we can get back on track and produce some wins, or at least some podium finishes, during the remainder of the season.

Hopefully, that will give us the opportunity to finish among the leaders in the championship race," he concluded Servia, who will be making his fourth start at Mid-Ohio, has enjoyed some solid success on the difficult and challenging 2.258-mile, 13-turn permanent road circuit. His best qualifying position is 12, in 2002, however he has finished in the top-10 in all three previous races with a best showing of ninth in 2001 (he placed 10th in 2000 and 2002).

"The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team had a great test at Mid-Ohio a month ago," Servia began. "We ran the fastest time of any team in the afternoon of the second day of testing," he noted. "I really like the Mid-Ohio circuit. It is a difficult track to get the setup right, but when you do it is fun to drive. I have had some success at Mid-Ohio and last year, in just my second race with Visteon/Patrick Racing, we were very fast, but just didn't quick put everything together, Servia said. "I am confident heading into this race. We had a good test here, so we should have a good car to start the weekend," he concluded.

Servia, who is in his fourth CART season, 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 (Emerson Fittipaldi - '86). They have 17 top-10 finishes, nine top-five showings and two wins (Fittipaldi - '88 and 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 Channel will also air qualifying on Saturday, August 9, beginning at 4:00 PM (ET).

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Oriol Servia , Scott Pruett , Emerson Fittipaldi