CHAMPCAR/CART: Montreal: Patrick Racing race report

Servia finishes 16th. MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA -- SATURDAY, AUGUST 24, 2002 -- Round ...

Servia finishes 16th.

MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA -- SATURDAY, AUGUST 24, 2002 -- Round #13 of the 2002 FedEx Championship Series - A mechanical problem early in the race ended Visteon/Patrick Racing's Molson Indy Montreal today at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Driver Oriol Servia, behind the wheel of the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing entry, started 14th, but was already in 12th place when he pitted during a yellow flag on lap 12. Upon exiting the pits he immediately reported that there was a problem with the rear of the car. The team pitted again on lap 13 and discovered an extremely rare (for Visteon/Patrick Racing) broken half shaft, which brought an end to a weekend that featured both a very fast car and a series of mechanical problems that prevented the team from fulfilling their potential. Sevia placed 16th in today's race.

"The Visteon/Patrick Racing car was very fast all weekend. I mean really amazing," Servia said. "We ran for the first time on Friday and the car was fantastic right away. We were third fastest in practice and from that point on we were always among the leaders on the speed charts," he noted. "I have been around racing for a while and I know these things happen, but it is a shame because the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team was really looking forward to a good finish today. I honestly thought that the Visteon colors were going to be on the podium in this race. Even starting 14th, the car was great, but something broke in the back of the car and the race was over for us. I know it is racing, but it is a shame," said Servia.

Servia, who ran consistently in the top-six all weekend, had an engine problem in final qualifying on Saturday that left him 14th on the starting grid. During the Sunday morning warm-up he was at the top of the speed charts for most of the session dropping to third at the end only because the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team was working on improving the air flow to the brakes in an effort to keep them cool for the race.

"The good thing is that the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team is getting better and better each week and we are racing again next weekend," Servia said. "That will give us a chance to get back out there right away and show what the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team can accomplish," he concluded.

Servia, who is in his third CART season (47 starts), was making his fourth start for Visteon/Patrick Racing and seventh of the 2002 FedEx Championship Series season. In his previous three races with Visteon/Patrick Racing, Servia has qualified 15th and finished 14th at Vancouver, qualified 12th and finished tenth at Mid-Ohio and qualified ninth and finished 16th at Elkhart Lake. Despite the numbers Servia has impressed both the team and racing critics with his talent and knowledge. In addition to his solid performance this weekend and his hard fought tenth place finish in Mid-Ohio, Servia has been very competitive in every race. In his Visteon/Patrick Racing debut at Vancouver he was running in ninth place and moving up when a mechanical problem knocked him from the competition. At Road America he was having an outstanding race, running as high as fifth, when a fuel pressure problem robbed him of a top-five finish.

Servia, who ran the first three races of the 2002 season with Pac West Racing, has finished in the points in four of his seven starts this year and in the top-ten three times including a season best sixth place showing in Japan. He is currently 19th in the championship race with 16 points.

Next up for Visteon/Patrick Racing is the Grand Prix of Denver on the temporary street circuit in Denver, Colorado, August 30 - September 1. The Grand Prix of Denver will be televised live on Sunday, September 1 at 3:00 PM (ET) on Speed Channel. The pre-race show will air from 2:30 - 3:00 PM (ET).

-pr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Oriol Servia