CHAMPCAR/CART: Vancouver: Patrick Racing Friday report

Visteon/Patrick Racing's Servia fifth on provisional grid For Molson Indy Vancouver. VANCOUVER, CANADA - FRIDAY JULY 25, 2003 -- Round ...

Visteon/Patrick Racing's Servia fifth on provisional grid For Molson Indy Vancouver.

VANCOUVER, CANADA - FRIDAY JULY 25, 2003 -- Round #11 - 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season -- Visteon/Patrick Racing driver Oriol Servia qualified fifth on the provisional grid for Sunday's Molson Indy Vancouver in Vancouver, Canada.

Servia piloted the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing entry, which is powered by Ford/Cosworth and uses a Lola chassis with Bridgestone tires, to a fast lap of 62.103 seconds (103.241 mph).

The native of Spain was second on the speed charts following the first of two 50-minute morning practices with a quick time of 63.589 seconds (100.829 mph). During the second session he improved to 62.952 seconds (101.849 mph), but dropped to fourth place on both the individual and combined practice reports. The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team continued to make gains during the ten-minute warm-up prior to qualifying as Servia ran a fast lap of 62.288 seconds (102.935 mph), which placed him third on both the individual and combine practice reports.

With the difficult 1.781-mile, 12-turn Concorde Pacific Place temporary street circuit gaining more grip with each lap run most of the quick teams, including Visteon/Patrick Racing, decided to wait until the last possible minute to began qualifying. The top-six teams fired their engines with 20 minutes remaining in the session only to have their first stint aborted when a red flag was flown. After the offending car was removed there were 12 minutes left in qualifying, which was not enough time to run the full 15 laps allotted for qualifying. Hustling around the track, Servia clocked a lap of 62.13 seconds on lap five of the six he ran on his first set of tires. After a very quick stop for new tires he was back on track and on lap 10 he ran his fastest time of the day putting him third on the grid. Servia ran one more timed lap, but was unable to improve, meanwhile two other drivers notched their fastest laps dropping Servia to fifth overall.

"The red flag hurt everybody the same," Servia said. "Fortunately, the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team was running with the quick cars, so we had the same chance as they did. Everything went well while we were qualifying, we were just .4 too slow," he noted. "There was a little bit of traffic on my last lap, but even if it had been a clean lap I wasn't going to be on the pole. We had one quick lap on each set of tires so I think we took our best shot today," Servia explained. "The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team just needs to find a little more speed and I have to drive a little harder tomorrow," he concluded.

Servia is competing in Vancouver for the fourth time and for the second time with Visteon/Patrick Racing. He made his debut with the team last year in Vancouver starting 15th and finishing 14th. In his other two appearances he qualified 12th and finished 11th in 2000, and started 22nd and finished fifth in 2001.

The resident of Miami, Florida has been strong in qualifying this season, which is the key to a successful race in Vancouver. Servia has qualified in the top-10 at all 10 events this season, which is his CART career high. His highest starting position this year is fourth at Monterrey, Mexico; Brands Hatch, England and Cleveland, Ohio. Servia's best CART career qualifying position is third at Texas in 2001 (race was cancelled). His highest career starting position is fourth, first achieved at Nazareth in 2001, and then matched at the three events this season.

Servia is looking for a strong showing in Vancouver to jumpstart the second half of the season. After 10 of the 19 events scheduled for 2003 he has already had the best season of his four-year CART career. Servia has earned a CART career best second place finish (Milwaukee) and placed in the top-five a single season high five times. He has finished in the top-six in a CART career best seven consecutive races, placed in the top-10 a career high seven straight times and scored points in career record eight consecutive contests. Servia has set or tied his career high finish at six of the eight tracks CART has raced on in the past, including career best showings in the last five events. He 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. Servia is sixth in the championship standings with 76 points.

The Vancouver race will be Servia's 64th career CART start and 21st for Visteon/Patrick Racing. 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 will be making its 16th start at Vancouver. In 15 previous starts the team has qualified in the top-10 a total of seven times with a best starting position of second (PJ Jones - '99). They have eight top-10 finishes including three podiums with one win (Roberto Moreno - '01).

The Vancouver race will be televised live on Speed on Sunday, July 27 at 3:30 PM (ET). Speed will air qualifying live on Saturday, July 26, at 1:30 PM (ET).

-pr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Roberto Moreno , Oriol Servia