CHAMPCAR/CART: Servia leads second day of Sebring Spring Training

SEBRING, Fla., (February 5, 2003) - Oriol Servia ( ...

SEBRING, Fla., (February 5, 2003) - Oriol Servia (#20 Visteon Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) had never started a Champ Car season with the same team that he had finished the previous campaign with until 2003, but he is making the most of the stability found at Patrick Racing this year as the Spaniard has been fast in early testing.

Oriol Servia.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.
Today, Servia showed the benefits of staying put with the Patrick team that he ran 10 races in 2002, topping an 18-car field during the second day of Champ Car Spring Training at Sebring International Raceway on Wednesday. Servia negotiated the tight road course in a time of 50.940 seconds (117.951mph) to top the time sheets in what was the fastest lap of the two days to date.

"It felt very good and the car was pretty quick today, although I still think that Newman/Haas has an advantage on the field," Servia said. "The last time I was with the same team that I finished the last year with, I won the championship in Indy Lights so we're looking forward to having a good year."

The Newman/Haas teammates were both among the top-three qualifiers again on Wednesday just as they were on the opening of the three days. Sebastien Bourdais (#2 Newman/Haas Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) put up the second-best lap of the day with an effort of 50.953 seconds (117.920mph), making the rookie the only driver in the field to break into the 50-second range in each of the first two days.

He was followed by his stablemate Bruno Junqueira (#1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone), who led the second session of the day with a time of 51.045 seconds (117.708mph). Junqueira led what ended up being a warm second session as the heavy cloud cover that blanketed the area during the morning, gave way to sunshine.

The two Newman/Haas teammates were the busiest drivers on the track for the second consecutive day, Bourdais logging a day's-best 91 laps with Junqueira running 82 orbits in a session that was stopped by three red flags in the last hour.

Jimmy Vasser (#12 ASTJ Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) was the quickest of the Reynard brigade today, running the fourth-best time with an effort of 51.353 seconds (117.002mph). Vasser and his former teammate Michel Jourdain Jr. (#9 Gigante/Office Depot Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) rounded out the top five on a day when 13 drivers moved into the 51-second range.

The final day of Champ Car Spring Training will take place on Thursday as most of the teams wrap up their on-track testing prior to the first race of the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season, which will take place Feb 21-23 in the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Bruno Junqueira , Oriol Servia , Sébastien Bourdais , Eric Gilbert , Michel Jourdain