CHAMPCAR/CART: Servia Nazareth qualifying

Notes NAZARETH, Pa. - Oriol Servia, driver for the Chicago-based Sigma Autosport team, continued his hot qualifying streak by taking a CART career-best 4th for tomorrow's Lehigh Valley Grand Prix. Servia's 4th place start eclipses his previous...

Notes NAZARETH, Pa. - Oriol Servia, driver for the Chicago-based Sigma Autosport team, continued his hot qualifying streak by taking a CART career-best 4th for tomorrow's Lehigh Valley Grand Prix.

Servia's 4th place start eclipses his previous best of 8th set at Portland last season. It was the second consecutive time Servia qualified in the top four, and third time this year he has qualified in the top 10. Last week in qualifying for the Firestone Firehawk 600 at Texas Motor Speedway, Servia was the third quickest, however that qualifying result was left in limbo due to the postponement of the event. For the Lehigh Valley Grand Prix, Servia will start on the outside of the second row alongside Michel Jourdain Jr.

Rain had threatened to wash away qualifying, but the skies cleared enough to allow the session to continue. Earlier, rain came down in sprinkles during the morning practice and it was enough to halt the second session with approximately 15 minutes to go. Servia was among the fortunate, getting in a full 45-minute practice as a member of the first group of a dozen drivers.

Servia's first qualifying lap in his #22 Sigma Autosport Lola-Ford/Cosworth was his best as he clocked in at 19.996 seconds for a top speed of 170.314 miles per hour. On his second lap, Servia admitted he pushed too much and as a result his lap speed was slower. An indication of Servia's quick times came during the morning warm-up when he recorded a 20.267 and a speed of 168.037 mph, which was nearly six miles an hour faster than his quickest Friday time.

For Servia, his qualifying continues a solid history at the Nazareth Speedway. In 1998, while driving in Indy Lights, Servia qualified 2nd, and in 1999, he qualified on the pole and finished 2nd in the race. Last season, he qualified 17th and finished 9th.

In other news, the Sigma Autosport pit crew is currently 4th with 20 points in the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge.

Sunday's race, the third in the FedEx CART Championship Series, begins at 1 p.m. Eastern Time and is scheduled for 225 laps.

"I had a pretty decent lap and the car went really well. I went pretty smooth and had no mistakes on my first lap, but on my second lap, I just pushed a little more and may have pushed a little too hard because I found a little understeer, which slowed me a bit. The car has been great and the Sigma Autosport crew has done a good job. The main objective was to qualify in the top ten and that has been accomplished."

On his thoughts about Sunday's race:
"We just have to do a nice, consistent race to the end. We have been showing we have the speed and we've been showing a lot of potential. I don't want to sound too excited. To me, it feels like mid-season and I know it's only the third race of the season and the third for Sigma ever, but we have to go step by step and finish in the points." - Oriol Servia, Driver

-SM

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Oriol Servia , Michel Jourdain