Servia, who was running in second place at the time the understeer developed, was able to maintain control of his ...
Servia, who was running in second place at the time the understeer developed, was able to maintain control of his #22 Sigma Autosport Lola-Ford/Cosworth, but lost nine places and ultimately finished 11th in the shortened race.
The race, which was supposed to be 500 miles (250 laps) got off to a late start because of a morning rain. The sky opened up later in the afternoon, but the race distanced was reduced to 440 miles (220 laps) because of impending darkness.
Servia, 27, from Pals, Catalonia, Spain, started the race 17th and quickly progressed through the ranks, running in the top 10 all day and leading two laps during green flag conditions (Laps 124-125). Good fuel mileage and pit strategy (he did not take tires on his final stop)allowed Servia to contest for the lead late in the race, however the understeer problems undermined his effort.
Servia's finish was his 15th in 20 races, and he finished with 42 CART FedEx Championship points, good enough for 19th place in the rankings. Servia did retake second place in the final laps and miles completed chart, as he finished with 2,394 completed out of 2,610 run this year. He was first in oval laps completed, doing 1,625 out of 1,640.
In addition, his two laps led gave him a total of 15 for the season. These were his first laps led in a race since Mid-Ohio in August.
"I felt very good the whole race and we were strong even though we had a
bit of understeer. On our last stop we played out some strategy and took
on fuel only with no tires, but we added some more wing. After the (next
to last) yellow flag ended, I followed Cristiano (da Matta) and then I had
tons and tons of understeer, more than at any other time of the race to
which I have no explanation. I can tell you it wasn't because of the
tires, but I couldn't even draft or follow the leaders and had the race
gone another ten laps, I might have finished twentieth. It's a shame
because I had those last twenty laps going through my mind. It's just so
disappointing to come so close."
- Oriol Servia, Sigma Autosport Driver
"Oriol and the team gave it their all, but unfortunately his name won't go
on the list of winners. Everyone did such a great job not only this race,
but for the season and the boys are to be commended for that, especially
making the Craftsman Pit Stop Challenge, which is great for a first-year
team. We certainly will have some great things to shoot for next season."
- Paul Cherry, Sigma Autosport Managing Director