Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia qualifies ninth for tomorrow's Molson Indy Vancouver. VANCOUVER, CANADA - SATURDAY, JULY 26, 2003 -- Round ...
Visteon/Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia qualifies ninth for tomorrow's Molson Indy Vancouver.
VANCOUVER, CANADA - SATURDAY, JULY 26, 2003 -- Round #11 - 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season -- Visteon/Patrick Racing driver Oriol Servia had a disappointing final qualifying session today at the Molson Indy Vancouver on the Concorde Pacific Place temporary street circuit in Vancouver, Canada.
Servia, behind the wheel of the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing entry, which is powered by Ford/Cosworth and uses a Lola chassis with Bridgestone tires, qualified ninth with a fast lap of 62.063 seconds (103.308 mph) and will start on the inside of Row #5 in tomorrow's race, which is set for 1:00 PM (PT).
The 29-year-old Spaniard began the day fifth on the grid following yesterday's provisional qualifying with a fast time of 62.103 seconds (103.241 mph). In this morning's 75-minute practice the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team spent the majority of the session in the middle of the speed charts as they experimented with a variety of changes and ran on old tires. However, after making some adjustments and putting on new rubber Servia went out for his final run with 10 minutes left in the practice. He quickly jumped into the No. 5 position on the individual practice report with a quick lap of 62.845 seconds (102.022 mph) keeping his streak of finishing in the top-five in every session intact. Overall, Servia remained third on the combined practice report after four sessions based on a fast time of 62.288 seconds (102.935 mph) earned in yesterday's practice.
During the 10-minute afternoon warm-up prior to qualifying Servia was ninth on the speed charts with a fast time of 63.143 seconds (101.541 mph). The team made several changes following the warm-up, which worked as Servia ran his fastest lap of the weekend in qualifying. Despite the quick time four cars were able to pass him dropping him back on the starting grid. Servia clocked a respectable time during his first stint, which put him solidly in the top-10. After making some additional changes and putting on new tires, the team waited until just 10 minutes remained in the session, when track conditions were at their best, before heading out for their final effort. Unfortunately, after his third lap a red flag flew and Servia was forced to discontinue the run. When action got back underway Servia had only two timed laps remaining of his total of 15, which meant getting the car up to peak performance was not in the cards.
"It was a very disappointing final qualifying session for the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team," Servia began. "I am particularly frustrated because we were in the top-five in every session until this afternoon and to end up ninth on the starting grid, especially on this track, is not where we wanted to be," he said. "It is going to make for a long race tomorrow, but we know we have a better car than we showed today and with a little luck, and good pit stops I am confident we can have a good performance," Servia explained. "The main thing right now is for the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team to sit down and figure out where to get some more speed so we can stay in touch with the leaders tomorrow," he noted.
Servia will be starting in the top-10 for a CART career high 11th consecutive time.
The ninth place qualifying position is also his best starting position in four attempts at Vancouver. In 2000 he qualified 12th and finished 11th. He started 22nd and finished fifth in 2001 and last year in his debut race with Visteon/Patrick Racing he qualified 15th and finishing 14th.
In addition to trying to get the second half of the 2003 season off to a good start, Servia will be looking to add to a number of personal CART career records tomorrow. The resident of Miami, Florida has earned a CART career best second place finish (Milwaukee) and placed in the top-five a single season high five times this year. 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 podiums performances. In his 20 starts with Visteon/Patrick Racing, 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. The team has now qualified in the top-10 a total of eight times in 16 attempts 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) in their previous 15 races.
The Vancouver race will be televised live on Speed Channel on Sunday, July 27 at 4:00 PM (ET). Speed Channel will also air a 30-minute pre-race show beginning at 3:30 PM (ET)