CHAMPCAR/CART: Milwaukee: PKV Racing preview

PKV RACING LOOKING FOR ANOTHER SOLID PERFORMANCE ON MILWUAKEE MILE INDIANAPOLIS, IN - - JUNE 1, 2006 - - PKV Racing drivers Oriol Servia and Katherine Legge will be looking to build on last year's team record setting performance on the ...


INDIANAPOLIS, IN - - JUNE 1, 2006 - - PKV Racing drivers Oriol Servia and Katherine Legge will be looking to build on last year's team record setting performance on the historic Milwaukee Mile when the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford resumes action this weekend with the Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Legge in the #20 Bell Micro -- PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone entry and Servia, who pilots the #6 Gulfstream -- PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone machine are both confident that they can equal and, in fact, surpass the team record setting efforts of Jimmy Vasser and Cristaino da Matta at last year's Milwaukee event. In 2005, PKV Racing established itself as a team to be contended with when Vasser captured the first pole in team history. Combined with Cristiano da Matta's fourth place qualifying effort the duo establish a team record for best combined qualifying position. Vasser went on to finish fifth, while da Matta placed 11th in the race.

Legge, who is in her first Champ Car season, will be making her fourth career Champ Car start, first in Milwaukee and first on an oval. The 25-year-old native of Great Britain has qualified 15th (Long Beach) and 17th twice in the first three events of the season. However, it has been in the races that she has demonstrated the talent that led to her being promoted to Champ Cars after only one season in the Atlantic Championship Series. In her Champ Car debut in Long Beach Legge drove a smart yet competitive race finishing eighth. In Round #2 at Houston, she was running 12th, and headed for a top-10 finish, when she was hit by another competitor, who was several laps down. After pitting for repairs, Legge return to the competition and placed 14th. Two weeks ago in Monterrey, Mexico, Legge was running as high as 13th, and appeared to be on the move, but after a questionable penalty for blocking she ended up 14th. What is most encouraging is that in each race, Legge has demonstrated the determination and speed to compete. Legge, a resident of Indianapolis, Indiana, is currently 12th in the championship standings with 29 points. She is third in the Champ Car rookie points race (Will Power -40 and Jan Heyland -- 31).

"I am very excited going into this race," Legge said. "This will be my first time racing on an oval, so it is another new challenge for me. The Bell Micro -- PKV Racing team had a good test at Milwaukee in April, so I got some valuable track time and learned a lot. We will also test there on Friday, so that will give me some additional experience on the Milwaukee Mile. I am also lucky to have Jimmy (Vasser) and Oriol helping me, as well as the whole PKV Racing team. Testing is, of course, not like racing, but I think I will be as ready as I can possibly be when it comes to race day. The Bell Micro -- PKV Racing team continues to work hard and improve, so I am very confident heading into this race."

Legge is considered a rising star in the Champ Car World Series following a standout rookie season in the Atlantic Championship Series in 2005. She won three races last year in route to a third place finish in the standings. Her win in her debut Atlantic event at Long Beach made her the first woman to win a major open-wheel race in North America. Stepping up to Champ Cars this year she became

the first female to start a Champ Car/CART race since Lyn St. James at Michigan in 1995, when she took the green flag in Long Beach on April 9. Her eighth place finish at Long Beach established a record for highest showing by a female in Series history surpassing a ninth place finish by Janet Guthrie at the 1978 Indianapolis 500 (Note: The Champ Car World Series record book includes USAC Champ Car events back to 1909).

Servia, who has qualified in the top-10 in all three races this year (season high seventh in Monterrey to go with a pair of eighths in Long Beach and Houston), ended a streak of bad luck that had plagued him in the first two races of the 2006 season by earning his best showing, and first top-10 finish this year, two weeks ago in Mexico. At the season opener in Long Beach, he was the innocent victim of a four car pile-up on the opening lap of the race and finished 18th. In Houston, he became entangled with Alex Tagliani while attempting to pass for fourth place and was forced out of the race with extensive front end damage eventually placing 12th. Servia currently sits 14th in the championship standings with 27 points.

Seriva will be making his 102nd career Champ Car start, fourth with PKV Racing and sixth in Milwaukee this weekend. In five previous races on the Milwaukee he has qualified in the top-10 twice with a best starting position of seventh in 2003. He has finished in the top-10 three times placing second in 2003, seventh in 2004 and third last year.

"I am looking forward to going to Milwaukee," Servia said. "I really like racing on ovals and Milwaukee is the only oval we run on. Both the team and I have had some success on the Milwaukee Mile. PKV Racing took the pole last year (Jimmy Vasser scored the first pole in team history) and were very competitive in the race," he noted. "For me, I have had some good races on ovals, especially Milwaukee. I have been competitive on the Milwaukee Mile the last few yeas and finished second in 2003," Servia said. "The PKV Racing team has really improved the car in the last two races. It is much faster and we continue to improve. Plus, Katherine (Legge) had a very good test in Milwaukee earlier this year. I think this is a track where we can have a good performance, get some valuable championship points and move up in the standings"

Now in his seventh Champ Car season, Servia has earned 52 top-ten finishes including 25 top-five showings, 12 podium performances and one victory (Montreal 2005). The resident of Miami, Florida who has finished in the top-10 in the standings the last three years, is coming off his best Champ Car season after placing second last year.

PKV Racing will be making it sixth and seventh starts in four racings on the Milwaukee Mile. In three previous races, five starts, they have qualified in the top-10 three times including the pole by Vasser last year. They have finished in the top-10 twice with a best showing of four by Vasser in 2004.

PKV Racing co-owner/driver Jimmy Vasser, who earlier this year announced he would compete at Long Beach and selected other races during the 2006 season, will again be on the sidelines for the in his other capacity as co-owner of PKV Racing. The 40-year-old native of California, who is technically in his 15th Champ Car season, made his 232nd career and 211 consecutive Champ Car start in Long Beach. His consecutive start streak came to a halt when he did not run in Houston.

The Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225, Round #4 of the 2006 Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, willl be run June 2-4 on the Milwaukee Mile in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The race will be broadcast live on Speed at 2:00 p.m. (ET).

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Alex Tagliani , Oriol Servia , Lyn St. James , Katherine Legge , Janet Guthrie , Will Power