Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia finishes fifth in G. I. Joe's 200 PORTLAND, OREGON -- SUNDAY, JUNE 22, 2003 -- Round ...
Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia finishes fifth in G. I. Joe's 200
PORTLAND, OREGON -- SUNDAY, JUNE 22, 2003 -- Round #8 - 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season. Visteon/Patrick Racing driver Oriol Servia finished fifth today in the G. I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway in Portland, Oregon.
The fifth place showing is the fourth time this year that Servia has placed in the top-five, the most he has achieved in a single CART season. It is also a career best fifth consecutive time he has placed in the top-six, tied his career high of five straight top-10 showings and set a career mark for consecutive points paying performances at six. Servia, who is having his best season, has now finished in the top-five in four of his last five races and placed in the points in seven of eight events this year. The hot streak has propelled him into sole possession of sixth place in the championship standings with 58 points. He is five points out of fifth place and 41 out of first.
The 28-year-old native of Pals, Catalonia, Spain, qualified sixth and has now started in the top-10 in every race this season. The eight consecutive top-10 starting positions are another CART career high for Servia.
The race began under a yellow flag as officials aborted three successive attempts at a clean start when drivers failed to maintain their positions. Finally, on lap four the contest commenced. Servia moved the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing entry, which is powered by Ford/Cosworth with a Lola chassis and Bridgestone tires, into fifth place on lap 13 when rookie Sebastien Bourdais was forced to pit with a punctured tire. He held station through the first round of pit stops, which were conducted under a yellow flag on lap 16 and pitted for the second time on lap 44 still in fifth. Servia moved into fourth place on lap 46, when race leaders Paul Tracy and Michel Jourdain made contact knocking Jourdain off course and out of contention. He held fourth place until the third and final stop on lap 72. At that point Bourdais, who was out of sequence on pit stops due to his earlier problem and benefited from two fortuitous yellow flags, moved ahead. Also slipping by was Bruno Junqueira, who was able to get out of the pits slightly ahead of Servia. Now in sixth place, Servia moved back into fifth on lap 91 when Bourdais retired with a damaged rear wing. Although he pressed Jungueira throughout the final laps, Servia could not gain the advantage and finished the race in the No. 5 spot.
"It would have been nice for the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team to finish on the podium today, but we just could not get there," Servia began. "The good thing is that we continued our momentum with another top-five finish and took over sixth place in the championship standings," he noted. "The Visteon/Patrick Racing car was good today. We were lacking just that little extra speed in the corners. We had some understeer, so we were missing a little in the turns. There were a couple of times that I got close to the car in front of me, but once we were coming out of the corner if I had tried to pass we would have crashed," Servia explained. "I am disappointed that we did not finish higher, but overall we have to feel good that we finished fifth and moved up in the point standings. The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team just has to keep working hard and we will definitely get to the next level.hopefully, starting in Cleveland," he concluded.
Servia earned both his highest qualifying and finishing position in three races at Portland International Raceway this weekend and scored his third consecutive top-10 finish at PIR. In his two previous races he placed eighth in 2000 and ninth in 2001.
The resident of Miami, Florida, who is in his fourth CART season, was making his 61st career CART start and 18th for Visteon/Patrick Racing today. In 61 CART events he has earned 28 top-ten finishes including ten top-five showings with two podium performances. However, his statistics since joining Visteon/Patrick Racing with 10 races left in the 2002 season are more indicative of his true talent. In his 18 starts with the team, 10 in 2002 and eight this year, Servia has finished in the points 12 times with nine top-10 finishes including six top-five showings and one podium, a career best second place finish at Milwaukee this year.
Patrick Racing made its 25th start at Portland International Raceway today. The team has now qualified in the top-10 a total of 17 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 14 times including ten top five showing, eight podium performances and one victory (Fittipaldi - 1989). Patrick Racing's last pole came at Australia in 2001 with Roberto Moreno. The team's last win was at Vancouver in 2001 also with Moreno.
Next up for Visteon/Patrick Racing is the U. S. Bank Presents The Cleveland Grand Prix, July 3-5 on the temporary street circuit at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cleveland Grand Prix will be televised tape delayed on CBS on Sunday, July 6 at 3:30 PM (ET).