Firestone Firehawk 600 Presented by Pioneer Texas Motor Speedway April 23, 2001 JUSTIN, Texas - They say things are big in Texas and they are not kidding when it comes to the Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) with its size and high banking. Oriol ...
Firestone Firehawk 600 Presented by Pioneer
Texas Motor Speedway
April 23, 2001
JUSTIN, Texas - They say things are big in Texas and they are not kidding when it comes to the Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) with its size and high banking.
Oriol Servia, the Sigma Autosport team, and the FedEx CART Championship comes to the Lone Star State for the first time this season, and for the first time in the Dallas-Fort Worth area as they compete in the Firestone Firehawk 600 Presented by Pioneer.
After two races this year, Servia has had some mixed results. He has completed every lap of the Tecate-Telmex Grand Prix of Monterrey and the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, but has just finished out of the points in both, with consecutive 14th place finishes.
TMS will present a challenge for the sophomore driver. It is the first oval and super-speedway this season and its banking is a startling 24 degrees on the turns, the steepest on any CART track. Still, Servia and the Sigma team are confident they can bring the 2001 Sigma Autosport-Lola-Ford/Cosworth to a top 10 finish.
Qualifying will be a key at Texas, but Servia should not have any problems as he has qualified a credible 8th at Mexico in the team's first CART contest, and he was briefly in the top three in qualifying at Long Beach. Servia's past record on super-speedways is something to marvel at as he was 8th in his debut on a super-speedway at Michigan, leading two laps towards the end of the race, and he ran strong at Fontana before going out because of an accident.
Practice for the Firestone Firehawk 600 begins on Friday, with qualifying starting on Saturday.
In other Sigma Autosport news, the team plans on testing former Formula 1 driver Johnny Herbert in May. The location of the test has yet to be determined. Herbert was recently tabbed as the Audi factory driver for the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans.
* Servia is the only driver from Catalonia, a region in Spain, in the CART FedEx Championship.
* This season is Servia's second in the CART FedEx Championship.
* His best finish in a CART race was 3rd place at Detroit last season.
* Servia's best finish on an oval was 5th place at St. Louis last season.
* Servia has finished in the top ten a total of ten times.
* His best starting position has been 7th at Portland in 2000.
* Servia was the runner-up for the Jim Trueman Rookie-of-the-Year award in 2000.
* The Firestone Firehawk 600 will be Servia's 23rd career CART start.
* Servia won $317,250 in prize money last season.
* Sigma is one of the few teams to have completed all 160 laps of competition so far.
* In 2000, Servia scored 60 points for 15th place in the CART FedEx Championship.
* Servia was the 1999 Dayton Indy Lights Champion.
* Sigma team owner Tom Wieringa attended the Hollywood premiere of Driven last week.
* This will be the third start for Sigma Autosport in the FedEx Championship Series.
"I think this race is going to be a pretty interesting event for me and the (FedEx CART) other guys. The banking is a lot steeper than either Michigan or California Speedway and except for Kenny (Brack), no one has really raced here. I believe it's going to be exciting not only for the fans but, for us and for me. I already have a top ten finish on a super-speedway (Michigan), and it would be great not only for me but, for Tom (Wierenga) and the team to do that at Texas. To get a top ten finish in only our third race would be an incredible achievement, and I know it's something we are capable of doing." - Oriol Servia, Driver