CHAMPCAR/CART: Surfers Paradise: PKV Racing Friday notes




SURFERS PARADISE, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA -- FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2007 -- Round #13 -- 2007 Champ Car World Series season -- PKV Racing's Oriol Servia has provisionally qualified in pole position today securing him a front row grid spot. His teammate Neel Jani qualified 5th on the grid for Sunday's Lexmark Indy 300 Champ Car Grand Prix in Surfers Paradise,Queensland, Australia.

Servia, #22 Pay By Touch PKV Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone car, took the pole position on the very last lap with a new course record of 90.862 seconds, (110.739 mph) on the 2.795-mile, 12-turn street course. Jani, #21 Red Bull Gulfstream PKV Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone entry, had a qualifying time of 92.520 seconds (108.755 mph)

Servia started and ended the day among the fastest cars on the track. During this mornings practice he posted the second fastest lap recording a quick time of 92.939 seconds (108.265 mph). In the 15-minute afternoon practice/warm-up, Servia logged the fifth fastest time posting a lap of 92.356 seconds (108.948 mph). Qualifying had a little more drama than usual with two red flags, resulting in Servia lying in fourth place after the first incident with a time of 91.886 seconds. After coming into the pits and putting on the red set of tires, he was able to do a few more laps to bring the tires up to temperature before the next red came out, leaving Servia still in 4th place with 2 minutes and a maximum of 2 laps remaining. As he went into the last lap it was all or nothing and feeling confident about the car he was able to take the first place spot away from Power by 0.033 seconds.

"I am really happy to be on pole, really happy to give a good result to PKV, after the season I have had, I am very happy how it has turned out in the end," Servia began. "It's a great start for the weekend, I thought the car was already good in the morning, so it was all about putting the laps together. There was a red flag every time I was out there so I couldn't do a lap. It must have been the most drama in a qualifying, it was like a one lap shoot out in the end for everybody and we were just able to do a fast lap at the end because the car was good. We need to finish like this on Sunday afternoon, I have been on pole before and I know it all counts on the last lap so that is what I am going to be working on.

"I would like to thank Kevin Kalkhoven, Jimmy Vasser and Mark Johnson for having the faith and believing in me for this race, and of course the Pay By Touch PKV Racing crew for all their hard work. We couldn't have a better chance going in to the start of this weekend".

Jani spent the morning practice becoming familiar with the track and re-adjusting to the much faster speeds of Champ cars after his two A1 races. By the end of the morning session he was 14th on the practice report with a quick lap of 95.285 seconds (105.599 mph). During the 15-minute warm-up, Jani was down in 14th place, clocking a time of 94.176 seconds on his last lap. In qualifying he went straight out and was able to complete his first stint, putting him in fifth place behind his team mate. A fresh set of tires went on but Jani was unable to get an opportunity to gain some places because of the red flags, leaving him in fifth place.

"Its not too bad for my 1st qualifying", noted Jani, "I did not put the red tires on and I think the reds will help me quite a bit on lap times. The car is ok not perfect yet and I think we can still find something. I am quite happy to have finished 5th on my first qualifying," Jani concluded.

Servia, #22 Pay By Touch PKV Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone car, has qualified and finished in the top-10 three times in seven races. The 33-year-old resident of Miami, Florida contested 11 of the first 12 races this year for Forsythe Championship Racing and currently sits sixth in the championship standings with 204 points, just five points out of fifth, 34 out of third and 39 out of second. So far this year he has finished in the top-10 in 10 of his 11 starts with four top-five showings including two podium performances (second at Long Beach and third at San Jose). Servia, has qualified in the top-10 six times in 12 races this year including four top-five starting spots, all on street circuits, with a season high of third at Toronto (fourth at San Jose and fifth at Houston).

Jani, #21 Red Bull Gulfstream PKV Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone, has been one of the most competitive drivers in the series finishing in the top-10 in eight consecutive races, earning three podium finishes, (seconds in Toronto and San Jose and a third in Cleveland). The 23-year-old native of Jens, Switzerland established a single season team record for most by an individual driver and tied the record for the most by the team in a season. Jani is currently seventh in the championship standings, six points away from fifth, 35 from third and 40 from second. He also lies third in the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year race with 203 points (one behind Rahal). Jani's streak has given him a legitimate shot at becoming the first PKV Racing driver ever to finish in the top-five in the season ending standings (Vasser finished 6th in 2005).

Jani has qualified in the top-10 a total of 11 times in 12 attempts with a best starting position of fourth at Houston and Assen. He is ninth in laps led (30) and third in both laps (923) and miles (2011.839) completed.

With a maximum of a 30 point gain possible in any race, Surfers Paradise is crucial to both drivers' hopes of finishing among the leaders in the standings.

There will be another practice session tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. followed by final qualifying at 1:55 p.m. The Lexmark Indy 300 Champ Car Grand Prix, October 19 - 21, on the streets of Surfers Paradise is Round #13 of the 2007 Champ Car World Series season. It will be televised live on ESPN Classic at 11:30 p.m. (ET) on Saturday 20th October and re-aired at 6:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 21, on ESPN2.

-credit: pkv racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Oriol Servia , Neel Jani , Kevin Kalkhoven