CHAMPCAR/CART: Toronto: Patrick Racing race report

Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia battles way to fifth place finish at Molson Indy Toronto TORONTO, CANADA - SUNDAY, JULY 13, 2003 -- Round ...

Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia battles way to fifth place finish at Molson Indy Toronto

TORONTO, CANADA - SUNDAY, JULY 13, 2003 -- Round #10 - 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season -- Visteon/Patrick Racing driver Oriol Servia scored a hard fought fifth place finish today at the Molson Indy Toronto in Toronto, Canada.

Servia, who is celebrating his 29th birthday today, started the race eighth in the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing entry, which is powered by Ford/Cosworth and uses a Lola chassis with Bridgestone tires. On the opening lap the outgoing native of Spain drove to the outside and passed two cars in Turn #1 to move into sixth place. Servia inherited fifth place on lap 28 when Alex Tagliani damaged his car. Three laps later, he made the first of his three pit stops and after getting solid pit work from his Visteon/Patrick Racing crew, rejoined the contest still in fifth. At that point, Servia began to press Patrick Carpentier and on lap 61 slipped by the Canadian for fourth place. On the next lap Servia pitted for the second time and, once again, the Visteon/Patrick Racing crew performed flawlessly. Still in fourth following the second round of stops, Sevia immediately went to work on a podium finish. However, as he chased Michel Jourdain, lurking behind was Newman/Hass rookie Frenchman, Sebastian Bourdais. Servia came up on lapped traffic, which instead of moving over held him up allowing Bourdais to close. A yellow flag was flown on lap 78 and when the final pit window opened on lap 81 everyone headed in for their final stop. Unfortunately, the Newman/Haas pit location was slightly better then Visteon/Patrick Racing's, which allowed Bourdais to get out just ahead of Servia. The two battled for the remainder of the race, but despite having a slightly faster car, Servia was unable to re-pass on the tight Exhibition Place temporary street circuit.

"The entire Visteon/Patrick Racing Team wanted to give me a podium finish for my birthday today, and we came close," Servia said. "We had a good start. I picked up two places on the first lap. Then Alex Tagliani dropped out and I passed Patrick Carpentier to move into fourth place. At that point I thought maybe we could make the podium if I kept pushing. It would have been a great present," he noted. "Just before the last pit stop I was hoping that I could pass on a restart and move into third place. Unfortunately, a lapped car didn't move over and Sebastian Bourdais was able to get right up on my tail and then pass me in the pits, so I dropped back to fifth. I was thinking I could pass Bourdais back and still challenge for the podium because I was one or two tenths of a second quicker than him. But, It just wasn't enough speed to overtake him," Servia explained. "Overall, I am pretty happy. After starting eighth on this track finishing fifth is very good," he concluded.

Today's fifth place finish is a single season high fifth top-five performance for Servia. He has now placed in the top-six in a CART career best seven consecutive races, finished in the top-10 a career high seven straight times and scored points in career record eight consecutive contests. Servia has also started in the top-10 in all ten events this year, which is also his CART career high. The resident of Miami, Florida has finished in the top five in five of his last seven races and in the points in nine of the ten events this year. He is sixth in the championship standings with 76 points.

With today's result Servia earned both his highest qualifying and finishing position in three races in Toronto. The fifth place showing also means that he has now set or tied his career high showing at six of the eight tracks CART has raced on in the past, including career best performances in the last five events.

Servia, who is in his fourth season, was making his 63rd career CART start and 20th for Visteon/Patrick Racing today. In 63 CART career events he has earned 30 top-ten finishes including 11 top-five showings with two podium performances. In his 20 starts with Visteon/Patrick Racing, 10 in 2002 and 10 this year, Servia has finished in the points 14 times with 11 top-10 finishes including seven top-five showings and one podium (Milwaukee).

Patrick Racing made 21st start in Toronto today. The team has now 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 13 times including seven top-five showings with one victory (Fittipaldi - 1987).

Next up for Visteon/Patrick Racing is the Molson Indy Vancouver, July 25-27 on the temporary street circuit in Vancouver, Canada. The Molson Indy Vancouver will be televised on Speed Channel at 3:30 PM (ET).

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Oriol Servia , Emerson Fittipaldi , Michel Jourdain