CHAMPCAR/CART: Milwaukee: Patrick Racing preview

Historic Milwaukee Mile 250 presents opportunities for Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia. JACKSON, MI - - MAY 27, 2003 - - Round 6 - - 2003 CART World Series, presented by Bridgestone and powered by Ford - CART's first ever night race, on...

Historic Milwaukee Mile 250 presents opportunities for Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia.

JACKSON, MI - - MAY 27, 2003 - - Round 6 - - 2003 CART World Series, presented by Bridgestone and powered by Ford - CART's first ever night race, on the historic Milwaukee Mile in Milwaukee, Wisconsin presents several opportunities for Visteon/Patrick Racing driver Oriol Servia.

The 2003 Milwaukee Mile 250 will be fraught with history. Not only will it be the first CART event run at night under the lights, it will be contested on the oldest active CART circuit, the Milwuakee Mile, which is celebrating its 100th season of hosting races. The opportunities presented to Servia are to score his first career CART victory, climb into the thick of the 2003 CART World Series championship race and to make CART history.

Servia, who is coming off consecutive top-five finishes, understands that this year's Milwaukee Mile 250 offers a driver the chance to go into the CART record books, but mainly he feels it is an opportunity to achieve the win, or podium finish, that will put him into the thick of the championship race.

"I have never raced at night, so I am very excited about the opportunity the Milwaukee Mile 250 presents," Servia began. "This is going to be an exciting race and it would be fantastic to win it and become the first driver to win a CART night race. However, the biggest thing for the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team is to get into the championship hunt. The way to do that is to win this race, or at least finish on the podium," Servia noted.

The 28-year-old Spaniard went on to say, "I don't see any problems racing under the lights. In fact, I think it will be a very good race. CART has changed the rules a little so we will have some more downforce. That should mean more passing and a more exciting race for the fans. Fortunately for me, my engineer, Steve Challis, was the engineer of the car that won the race last year, so the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team should have a good car right off the transporter."

Servia, who pilots the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing entry, which is powered by Ford/Cosworth and uses a Lola chassis and Bridgestone tires, is working on a couple of streaks coming into this race. In addition to back-to-back top- five performances, fourth at Brands Hatch and fifth in the German 500, he has finished in the points in four of the first five events (12th at St. Petersburg and Long Beach). This is the second time in Servia's four-year CART career that he has finished in the top-five in consecutive races having achieved the feat at Vancouver and Germany in 2001. He has never placed in the top-five three times in a row. Servia has qualified in the top-10 in the first five races this year. The five straight top-10 starting positions are a CART career high. Servia is currently 10th in the championship standings with 24 points

"The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team has had two consecutive good results, which has moved us into the top-10 in the championship race," Servia said. "We just have to keep working hard and improving. The crew has done a fantastic job preparing the car and a great job in the pits. The engineering staff has given me a fast car every time out, so the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team is very confident heading into this race," Servia concluded.

The resident of Miami, Florida, who will be making his third start at Milwaukee, has not enjoyed a lot of success on the Milwaukee Mile where his best starting position is 15th and his best finish is 14th, however he has demonstrated throughout his CART career, and particularly with Visteon/Patrick Racing, that he can produce solid results on ovals. Of Servia's eight career top-five finishes, five have come on ovals (fourth, Rockingham - 2002; fifth, St. Louis - 2000, Germany - 2001 and 2003, and Fontana - 2002) including three of his four top-five performances with Visteon/Patrick Racing (fourth, Rockingham - 2002; Fontana - 2002 and fifth, Germany - 2003).

In the meantime, Patrick Racing has been extremely successful on the challenging one-mile Milwaukee oval. The team, which will be making its 70th start in Milwaukee, has qualified in the top-10 a total of 51 times, including 28 in the top-five with five poles. They have finished in the top-10 a total of 37 times including 22 top-five showings, 13 podium performances and three wins.

The Milwaukee Mile 250 will be televised live on Speed Channel on Saturday, May 31 at 9:00 PM (ET). The pre-race show will begin at 8:30 PM (ET). Speed Channel will also air qualifying live on Friday, May 30 at 9:30 PM (ET).

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

-pr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Oriol Servia