NAZARETH, Pa. - Oriol Servia and the Sigma Autosport team will carry on and try and keep up their rising fortunes at the Lehigh Valley Grand Prix, despite the disappointment of not racing at the Texas Motor Speedway last week. CART officials, ...
NAZARETH, Pa. - Oriol Servia and the Sigma Autosport team will carry on and try and keep up their rising fortunes at the Lehigh Valley Grand Prix, despite the disappointment of not racing at the Texas Motor Speedway last week.
CART officials, because of a concern for driver safety postponed the inaugural Firestone Firehawk 600. Instead, the third round of the 2001 FedEx Championship Series will take place at the Nazareth Speedway.
Servia had his best starting position in the FedEx CART Championship Series, as he was the third fastest qualifier, however the postponement of the event and uncertainty of a new date for the race leaves his best start in limbo. Still, there is a lot of optimism at Sigma Autosport for the Lehigh Valley Grand Prix if Servia's past history there is any indication.
Nazareth, with its nearly mile-long paved oval (0.946-miles) is a favorite of Servia's and his past track record at the circuit proves it. Servia first raced at Nazareth Speedway in Indy Lights competition in 1998, starting the race 2nd, but finishing 13th. In 1999, Servia sat on the pole and finished second en route to winning that season's PPG-Dayton Indy Lights championship.
As a rookie last season for PPI Motorsports, Servia out-qualified his teammate Cristiano da Matta by starting 17th, and he also finished higher by placing 9th, the second of his ten top-10 finishes he would ultimately accumulate.
Practice for the Lehigh Valley Grand Prix begins on Friday, with qualifying starting on Saturday afternoon.
*Servia is the only driver from Catalonia, a region in Spain, racing in the FedEx CART Championship.
*This season is Servia's second in the FedEx CART 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-10 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 Lehigh Valley Grand Prix will be Servia's 23rd career CART start.
*Servia won $317,250 in prize money last season.
*Servia was the 1999 PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Champion.
*This will be the third start for Sigma Autosport in the FedEx CART Championship Series.
"It's unfortunate about Texas, but I completely, one-hundred percent agree with the decision. As for our next race, I believe we're going to be in very good shape for Nazareth after our qualifying performance at Texas. We're looking at that race in an optimistic way. The Lola's have been good on the ovals so far and the last time I was in a Lola at Nazareth, I was on the pole (Indy Lights, 1999). Last season I out-qualified my teammate (Cristiano da Matta) there, so I really like that place and I think we're going to do well in the race." - Oriol Servia, Driver