CHAMPCAR/CART: Monterrey: PKV Racing preview

PKV RACING'S LEGGE AND SERVIA LOOKING TO BREAKOUT AT TECATE GRAND PRIX OF MONTERREY INDIANAPOLIS, IN - - MAY 19, 2006 - - PKV Racing's Katherine Legge and Oriol Servia will be looking for breakout performances this weekend at the Tecate Grand...


INDIANAPOLIS, IN - - MAY 19, 2006 - - PKV Racing's Katherine Legge and Oriol Servia will be looking for breakout performances this weekend at the Tecate Grand Prix of Monterrey, May 19-21, on the road course at Fundidora Park in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

Legge, who is in her first Champ Car season, will be making her third career Champ Car start in the #20 Bell Mirco -- PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone machine. The talented and determined 25-year-old native of Great Britain, has qualified 17th and 15th in the first two races of the season, but has been much stronger in the races. In her Champ Car debut at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach she finished eighth, then at the Champ Car Grand Prix of Houston she was running 12th, and headed for a top-10 finish, when she was hit by another competitor and knocked out of the race placing 14th. Legge is currently 11th in the championship standings with 22 points. She is third in the Champ Car rookie points race (Will Power -30 and Jan Heyland -- 26).

Legge is making her first Champ Car start in Monterrey, however, she competed in the Atlantic race at Fundidora Park last year qualifying eighth and finishing fifth.

"After Houston I am going to Mexico so I will stay acclimatized to the heat," Legge said. "I raced in Monterrey last year, so I know the track, but running a Champ Car is different. It is always a pleasure to go to Mexico because the fans are very enthusiastic, welcoming and knowledgeable. I like the track in Monterrey because it is very challenging," Legge noted.

Legge went on to say, "The Bell Mico -- PKV Racing crew has done an awesome job the first two races. They constantly amaze me with their skill, dedication and support. We have made a lot of progress, we just ran into some bad luck in Houston. I know I still have a lot to learn, but we are working hard to make it all come together in Monterrey."

Legge, who is considered a rising star in the Champ Car World Series, 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).

Seriva, who pilots the #6 Gulfstream -- PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone entry has qualified eighth in each of the first two races. However, he has been the victim of some bad luck in both events. 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 was running fifth when in the latter stages of the race, while attempting to pass Alex Tagliani for fourth place, the two came together. Servia's car was damaged beyond repair and he ended up 12th. The 31-year-old native of Pals, Catalonia, Spain, currently sits 16th in the championship standings with 12 points.

"I am actually much happier with our performance than what most people would think by looking at the standings," Servia said. "I know we are only 16th in the points, but the Gulfstream -- PKV Racing car was very quick in Houston. I was really impressed with the performance of the car and the team in the last race, so I am very upbeat about the upcoming events," he noted. "Overall, I am very pleased with the direction and progress the PKV Racing team has made and I think the tracks we are headed to suit our team much better than the circuits we have been running on. I am looking forward to a good result in Monterrey and getting back into the championship race."

Servia will be making his 101st career Champ Car start, third for PKV Racing and sixth in Monterrey. In 100 Champ Car starts, Servia, who is in his seventh Champ Car season, has now earned 51 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. In five previous starts in Monterrey, Servia has qualified in the top-10 four times with a best starting position of fourth in 2003. He has finished in the top-10 twice with a best showing of ninth last year.

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 be on the sidelines for the second consecutive race 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 last week in Houston.

PKV Racing will be making it sixth and seventh starts in four racings at Fundidora Park. In three previous races, five starts, they have qualified in the top-10 three times with a best starting position of seventh in 2004 by Jimmy Vasser. They have finished in the top-10 a total of three times with a best showing of sixth, last year, by Cristiano da Matta.


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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Alex Tagliani , Oriol Servia , Katherine Legge , Janet Guthrie , Will Power , Cristiano da Matta