CHAMPCAR/CART: Toronto: Patrick Racing preview

Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia looking to give himself a birthday present at Molson Indy Toronto JACKSON, MI - - JULY 7, 2003 - - Round 10 - - 2003 CART World Series, presented by Bridgestone and powered by Ford - The team knows it is ...

Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia looking to give himself a birthday present at Molson Indy Toronto

JACKSON, MI - - JULY 7, 2003 - - Round 10 - - 2003 CART World Series, presented by Bridgestone and powered by Ford - The team knows it is going to happen, the entire paddock knows it is going to happen and there is no better time for it to happen than this weekend in Toronto. Visteon/Patrick Racing driver Oriol Servia, who celebrates his 29th birthday on race day, July 13, will try and give himself the ultimate present with his first CART career victory this Sunday at the Molson Indy Toronto on the temporary street circuit in Toronto, Canada.

Servia, who pilots the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing entry, which is powered by Ford-Cosworth and uses Bridgestone tires, has been extremely competitive in the first nine races of the 2003 season. He has finished in the points in eight of the nine events this year and is currently sixth in the championship standings with 66 points.

With a win on his birthday in Toronto, Servia, who is having a career year, can add to a string of strong performances that have established several personal CART career records. Among the career marks he has set are a best finish of second (Milwaukee), six consecutive top-six placements, six straight top-10 showings and seven consecutive finishes in the points. All of the streaks are still active. Servia has placed in the top-five four times this year, which is a career high for a single season. He has also qualified in the top-10 in every race this year. The nine consecutive top- 10 starting positions are another CART career high. Additionally, Servia has set or tied his career high finish at five of the seven tracks CART has raced on in the past, including career best performances at the last four events. The native of Spain will be making his third Champ Car start in Toronto. He qualified 11th and finished 11th in 2000 and started 11th and placed 23rd in 2001.

"It is great to be back on the Toronto street circuit," Servia said. "I always liked this city and track. The Toronto circuit has good braking areas and there are a couple of places where you can pass, which should make for an exciting race," he noted. "The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team has had some good performances this season, but we have to get on the podium on a regular basis staring now or we will not accomplish our goal of winning a championship," Servia concluded.

The resident of Miami, Florida, who is campaigning with his fourth CART team in three plus seasons, will be making his 63rd career CART start and 20th for Visteon/Patrick Racing this weekend. In 62 CART career events he has earned 29 top-ten finishes including ten top-five showings with two podium performances. Since joining Visteon/Patrick Racing midway through the 2002 season, Servia has really began to show the talent, consistency and competitiveness that many expected after he took the Indy Lights Championship in 1999. In his 19 starts with the team, 10 in 2002 and nine this year, Servia has finished in the points 13 times with ten top-10 finishes including six top-five showings and one podium (Milwaukee).

Patrick Racing will be making their 31st start at Toronto. In 20 previous appearances in Toronto the team has qualified in the top-10 a total of 13 times with seven top-five starts and two poles (Emerson Fittipaldi - 1986 and 1989). They have finished in the top-10 a total of 12 times including six top five showings with one victory (Fittipaldi - 1987).

The Molson Indy Toronto will be televised live on CBS on Sunday, July 13 at 12:30 PM (ET). Speed Channel will air qualifying live on Saturday, July 12, beginning at 1:30 PM (ET).

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Oriol Servia , Emerson Fittipaldi