JACKSON, MI - - JULY 24, 2003 - - Round 10 - - 2003 CART World Series, presented by Bridgestone and powered by Ford - Visteon/Patrick Racing will be seeking a strong showing to kick off the second half of the 2003 CART World Series season, which...
JACKSON, MI - - JULY 24, 2003 - - Round 10 - - 2003 CART World Series, presented by Bridgestone and powered by Ford - Visteon/Patrick Racing will be seeking a strong showing to kick off the second half of the 2003 CART World Series season, which is presented by Bridgestone and Powered by Ford, at this weekend's Molson Indy Vancouver, in Vancouver, Canada.
The team is attempting to build on a solid and consistent first half of the season, which has kept them within reach of the leaders in the championship race.
After just 10 events of the 19-race 2003 schedule, driver Oriol Servia has already had the best season of his four-year CART career. The talented native of Pals, Catalonia, Spain has earned a CART career best second place finish (Milwaukee) and placed in the top-five a single season high five times. He has several active streaks going that have all established career records. Servia has 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. He has 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. The resident of Miami, Florida has also started in the top-10 in all ten races this year, which is also his CART career high. Servia 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.
Despite the strong first half, the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team knows that if they are going to make a run at the championship podium finishes are going to be required beginning this weekend.
"The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team has been very consistent this year," Servia noted. "In the past the results we have posted would put us in the top-three or four in the championship race. But, the top three drivers in the standings are all finishing on the podium in every race," he explained. "It is only the halfway point in the season, so we still have a good chance to win the championship. But, we have to start consistently finishing on the podium if we are going to challenge for the title," Servia concluded.
This will be the fourth time Servia has competed on the challenging Vancouver street circuit. His best starting position is 12th (2000) and his best finish is fifth (2001).
"Vancouver is another street circuit so it means qualifying is extremely important," Servia said. "Fortunately for the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team we have had a good qualifying record this year. At Toronto we had a good car, but so did everyone else. Except Paul (Tracy), who had a great car. Hopefully, we can give him a harder time this weekend," he noted. "Vancouver is a circuit where it is very difficult to pass. That is why qualifying is so important. However, because it is difficult to pass getting the right timing in qualifying, when there aren't a lot of cars on the track, is a key factor. If you can't get a clean lap it is impossible to put up your best time," Servia explained.
Servia, 29, who is competing with his fourth CART team in three plus seasons, will be making his 64th career CART start and 21st for Visteon/Patrick Racing this weekend. 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 Molson Indy Vancouver will be televised live on Speed Channel on Sunday, July 27 at 3:30 PM (ET). Speed Channel will also air qualifying live on Saturday, July 26, beginning at 1:30 PM (ET).
For background, statistical information, releases, notes, quotes plus updates on race weekends, go to (www.patrickracing.com).