CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland: Patrick Racing preview

Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia looking to move up in championship standings at G. I. Joe's 200. JACKSON, MI - - JUNE 19, 2003 - - Round 8 - - 2003 CART World Series, presented by Bridgestone and powered by Ford - Visteon/Patrick ...

Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia looking to move up in championship standings at G. I. Joe's 200.

JACKSON, MI - - JUNE 19, 2003 - - Round 8 - - 2003 CART World Series, presented by Bridgestone and powered by Ford - Visteon/Patrick Racing driver Oriol Servia will be looking to continue the hot streak that has put him solidly in the top-10 in the 2003 CART World Series championship standings this weekend at the G. I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway in Portland, Oregon.

After the first three races of the season, Servia was 18th in the standings with just two points and was 62 points out of first place. Since then the talented native of Spain has piloted the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing entry, which is powered by Ford-Cosworth and uses a Lola chassis with Bridgestone tires, to four consecutive top-six finishes. He finished fourth at Brands Hatch, fifth in Germany, a CART career high second at Milwaukee and sixth at Laguna Seca. The four consecutive top-six finishes are Servia's CART career high and have vaulted him into a tie for sixth in the standings with 48 points. He holds the No. 7 position based on tiebreakers and is just five points out of fifth place and 41 out of first.

The 28-year-old resident of Miami, Florida will be competing for the third time on the tricky 1.969, ten turn Portland permanent road circuit. He has finished in the top-10 in both his previous races placing eighth in 2000 and ninth in 2001. Servia's best starting position is seventh in 2000.

"Portland should be a good track for the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team," Servia noted. "We haven't tested there, but our baseline at every track this season, except Laguna Seca, has been very good," he explained. "I have always liked the Portland circuit and I have always been quick there in qualifying. It is a fun track to drive and I have good results the two times I have raced there. I am looking forward to racing at Portland and hopefully getting back on the podium," Servia concluded.

Servia, who is competing with his fourth CART team, seems to have found a home with Visteon/Patrick Racing. He is having the best season of his four- year CART career and is considered a serious challenger for the championship title.

In addition to the four straight top-six finishes, Servia has finished in the top-10 four consecutive times (one short of his career high), placed in the points a CART career tying five straight times and in six of seven events this year. He has also qualified in the top-10 a career best seven consecutive times. Overall, in 17 starts with Visteon/Patrick Racing, 10 in 2002 and seven this year, Servia has finished in the points 11 times with seven top-10 showings including five top-five placements and one podium performance. In 60 career CART starts he has earned 27 top-ten finishes including nine top-five showings with two podium performances.

Patrick Racing will be making its 25th start at Portland International Raceway. In 24 previous events the team has qualified in the top-10 a total of 16 times including eight times in the top-five with two poles (Emerson Fittipaldi - 1986 and Scott Pruett - 1997). They have finished in the top-10 a total of 13 times including nine top five showing, eight podium performances and one victory (Fittipaldi - 1989).

The Grand Prix of Portland/G. I. Joe's 200 June 20-22 will be televised live on CBS on Sunday, June 22 at 3:30 PM (ET). Speed Channel will air qualifying, Saturday, June 21 tape delayed at 5:30 PM (ET).

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

-pr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Oriol Servia , Scott Pruett , Emerson Fittipaldi