CHAMPCAR/CART: Montreal: PKV Racing race report



MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA. -- MONDAY, AUGUST 28, 2006 -- Round #11 -- 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season -- PKV Racing's Katherine Legge finished 13th while teammate Oriol Servia placed 16th today in the rain postponed Grand Prix of Montreal on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Legge, who qualified 16th, was the victim of a rain induced spin on the third lap of yesterday's aborted race that put her on the sidelines. However, she returned to action today following a discussion between the team and Champ Car officials whose subsequent interpretation of the rules allowed the #20 Bell Micro -- PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone car back in the field for today's restart. Legge took the green flag in 17th place, five laps down, thus forcing her to forego her normally aggressive style. Instead, she drove a patient race giving way to drivers in competition for the win, but still ran solid lap times and acquired race experience. Legge had one miscue early in today's contest, but thanks to the outstanding work of her Bell Micro -- PKV Racing crew she was quickly back on track, which allowed her to pick up valuable championship points.

"It was tough driving around in somebody else's race," Legge began. "I was just looking to get out of everybody's way and finish the race...and that is what we did," she said. "The Bell Micro -- PKV Racing crew did a great job all weekend and we picked up a few extra points, so that is good."

Legge, a rookie, made her 11th career Champ Car start and first at Montreal. She did compete here last year in the Atlantic Championships qualifying fourth and finishing fourth. Legge has earned four top-10 finishes in her first 11 races. She placed a career high sixth at Milwaukee, eighth in her Champ Car debut at Long Beach, eighth in Cleveland and ninth in Denver. Legge has qualified in the top-10 once, eighth in Milwaukee. The resident of Indianapolis, Indiana is third in laps completed and ninth in laps led. Legge is tied for 14th in the standings with 117 points, 31 points out of 10th, and trails Dan Clarke by 30 points for second in the Roshrans Rookie of the Year race.

Legge has established a number of Champ Car records this season. She is the first female to start a Champ Car/CART race since Lyn St. James at Michigan in 1995 and the first female to lead a Champ

Car race (Milwaukee, 12 laps). Her sixth place finish at Milwaukee set a new Series high for a female driver (her eighth in Long Beach and Cleveland give her the three best finishes) surpassing a ninth place finish by Janet Guthrie at the 1978 Indianapolis 500. Legge won three races and finished third last year in her rookie season in the Atlantic Championship Series. Her victory in her debut Atlantic event at Long Beach made her the first woman to win a major open-wheel race in North America.

Servia, #6 Gulfstream -- PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone, qualified fifth and was running in sixth yesterday when the red flag was dropped after six laps. The native of Catalunya moved back into fifth place on lap 14 when race leader A. J. Allmendinger fell by the wayside. Three laps later he passed Bruno Junqueira, who yesterday made a highly suspect move prior to the green flag to get ahead of Servia. Running in fourth, Servia was getting great fuel mileage, which allowed him to stay out a lap longer than race leader, and eventual winner, Sebastien Bourdais as well as runner up Paul Tracy. However, while completing the bonus circuit Servia pressed too hard in an effort to even further improve his track position and ended up in the wall while negotiating the turn before pit lane.

"I was saving fuel and the last two laps I just wanted to improve my track position," Servia said. "I just braked too late going into the last chicane. I went in a little too hard, got sideways and went over the curb. The curb was still wet and it sent me straight to the wall," he explained. "It is really a shame because the Gulfstream -- PKV Racing car was very good today. We were running up front and in a good position for a top finish, so I lost an opportunity to get a lot of points," Servia noted.

Servia, who was hoping to use the Montreal event, where he was the defending champion and had enjoyed tremendous success, as a springboard to a top-five finish in the championship, instead dropped from 10th in the standings to 12th with 145 points. However, he is just 28 points out of fifth.

"There are three races left in the season and the Gulfstream -- PKV Racing team has shown that we are contenders for podiums and race wins, so we still have a good chance to move up in the standings," commented Servia.

Servia made his fifth start in Montreal and 11th for PKV Racing today. He has now finished in the top-10 three times on the 2.709-mile, 13-turn permanent road circuit. In addition to last year's win he placed second in 2003 and ninth in 2004. Servia has qualified in the top-10 four times in five attempts in Montreal with a best starting position of second (2003 and again last year).

-credit: pkv racing

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Lyn St. James , Gilles Villeneuve , Katherine Legge , Janet Guthrie , Daniel Clarke