CHAMPCAR/CART: Toronto: PKV Racing preview

PKV RACING LOOKING TO ESTABLISH CONSISTENCY AT MOLSON GRAND PRIX OF TORONTO INDIANAPOLIS, IN - - JULY 7, 2006 - - PKV Racing will be looking to build on the momentum and establish consistency as they attempt to continue their climb in the ...


INDIANAPOLIS, IN - - JULY 7, 2006 - - PKV Racing will be looking to build on the momentum and establish consistency as they attempt to continue their climb in the championship standings this weekend at the Molson Grand Prix of Toronto on the temporary street circuit at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

PKV Racing driver Oriol Servia, #6 Gulfsteam -- PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone, has been one of hottest drives in the series. Servia is riding a streak of four consecutive top-10 finishes including the team's first podium showing of the season a third place performance two weeks ago in Cleveland. He and teammate Katherine Legge, #20 Bell Micro -- PKV Racing Ford Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone, who seems to set a new record every time she takes to the track, have both finished in the top-10 in two of the last three races(Servia, third and Legge, eighth at Cleveland; Sevia, fifth and Legge, sixth in Milwaukee) and currently sit ninth and 13th respectively in the 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series points standings.

Servia, who was knocked out of the first two races of the season, has made a steady advance in the championship standings over the last four events. He was last in the standings following Long Beach where he was the innocent victim of a first lap incident. Servia moved into 16th following the inaugural Houston race despite ending up in the wall after contact with Alex Tagliani. He then went on the streak that has seen him score 73 points and break into the top-10 in the standings. The streak began in Monterrey, Mexico with an eighth place showing. Then in Milwuakee he notched his first, and the team's first, top-five finish of the season with a fifth place performance. Servia had a tough weekend in Portland, but salvaged the weekend with a tenth place finish in Legge's back up car. The streak was extended in Cleveland with by far his best performance of the season. The 31-year-old Catalan has qualified in the top-10 in five of the six races this year. In addition to a season high fourth place starting spot in Cleveland, Servia has qualified seventh twice (Milwaukee and Monterrey, Mexico) and eighth twice (Long Beach and Houston). His with 85 points put him just 14 out of fourth in the championship race.

Servia will be making his sixth Champ Car start in Toronto. In five previous races he has qualified in the top-10 three times, all in the last three years, with a best starting position of fourth last year (eighth in 2003 and 10th in 2004). He has finished in the top-10 three times, again all in the last three years, with a best showing of second last year (fifth in 2003 and ninth in 2004).

"I have had some success in Toronto," Servia noted. "I finished fifth in 2003, was running for the podium in 2004, but got hit late in the race and then had a good race last year finishing second. The Gulfstream -- PKV Racing team has made a lot of progress in the last few races and we are coming off a good race in Cleveland, our first podium of the season. We are not 100% where we want to be, but the hard work is paying off and we are definitely improving," he explained. "I think we are in a good position coming into Toronto and I am looking forward to going the momentum we have built over the last four races."

Servia, who is in his seventh Champ Car season will be making his 105th career Champ Car start this weekend. He has earned 55 top-ten finishes including 27 top-five showings, 13 podium performances and one victory (Montreal 2005). The resident of Miami, Florida, who has finished in the top-10 in the standings the last three years, is coming off his best Champ Car season placing second last year.

Legge is coming off another solid performance, an eighth place showing in Cleveland. The talented and determined Champ Car rookie has now earned three top-10 finishes in her first six Champ Car races, but more importantly she has been competitive in every race. Legge has qualified in the top-10 once, a career high eighth on the oval in Milwaukee, in six attempts. Her 14th place starting position in Cleveland was the best in five attempts on a road/street circuit (she has qualified 15th twice, Houston and Portland; and 17th twice, Long Beach and Monterrey, Mexico). Despite the qualifying woes the 25-year-old native of Great Britain has found some success in the races. Legge placed a season, and career, high sixth at Milwaukee and eighth in her Champ Car debut at Long Beach to go with the eighth place finish in Cleveland. In Houston, she was headed for another top-10 finish, when she was hit by another competitor and eventually placed 14th. Legge placed 14th in Monterrey after a questionable penalty was accessed for blocking while she was running 13th and 13th last weekend in Portland. The resident of Indianapolis, Indiana has earned 72 championship points with place her second in the Champ Car rookie of the year race. She trails Dan Clarke by three points, 75-72.

Legge will be making her first Champ Car start in Toronto although she raced there lst year in the Atlantic Championship Series starting sixth and finishing sixth.

"It will be fun to go back to Toronto to race," Legge said. "It is good to be getting back to street racing and I like the track. Toronto is a great event and the fans are very enthusiastic and knowledgeable," she noted. "I think the Bell Micro -- PKV Racing team will have a good car for Toronto. The team has worked very hard and I think the effort of the whole team is really paying off."

Legge, who became the first female to start a Champ Car/CART race since Lyn St. James at Michigan in 1995, when she made her Champ Car debut at Long Beach, has established a number of Series records already this season. In Milwaukee, she became the first female to lead a race when she held the top spot for 12 laps in her oval debut. In addition, her sixth place finish at Milwaukee set a new Series high for a female (her eighth place showings in Long Beach and Cleveland give her the two best finishes) surpassing a ninth place finish by Janet Guthrie at the 1978 Indianapolis 500. Legge won three races and finished third last year in her rookie season in the Atlantic Championship Series. Her win in her debut Atlantic event at Long Beach made her the first woman to win a major open-wheel race in North America.

PKV Racing will be making its sixth and seventh starts in four racings at Toronto. The team has qualified in the top-10 twice with a best starting position of seventh by Jimmy Vasser last year (da Matta started eighth). They have finished in the top-10 twice with a best showing of second by Vasser in 2004 (he finished fourth last year).

The Molson Grand Prix of Toronto, Round #6 of the 2006 Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, will be held July 7-9, on the temporary street circuit in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The race will be broadcast live on CBS at 12:30 p.m. (ET).

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Alex Tagliani , Oriol Servia , Lyn St. James , Katherine Legge , Janet Guthrie , Daniel Clarke