KV RACING TECHNOLOGY'S ORIOL SERVIA QUALIFIES THIRD FOR TOMORROW'S DETROIT INDY GRAND PRIX WILL POWER HAS INCIDENT AND QUALIFIES 12TH DETROIT, MI -- AUGUST 30, 2008 -- Round ...
KV RACING TECHNOLOGY'S ORIOL SERVIA QUALIFIES THIRD FOR TOMORROW'S DETROIT INDY GRAND PRIX
WILL POWER HAS INCIDENT AND QUALIFIES 12TH
DETROIT, MI -- AUGUST 30, 2008 -- Round #16, 2008 IndyCar Series season -- KV Racing Technology's Oriol Servia made the Firestone Fast Six for the third consecutive race and ended up qualifying a season high tying third for tomorrow's Detroit Indy Grand Prix presented by Firestone on the Belle Isle Raceway in Detroit, Michigan. Teammate Will Power made contact with the wall and qualified 12th.
Servia, KV Racing Technology #5 Honda/Dallara/Firestone, making his third appearance on the 2.07-mile, 14-turn, Belle Isle temporary street circuit, qualified with a time of 72.9618 seconds (102.136 mph). He will lineup on the inside of Row #2. Power, KV Racing Technology #8 Aussie Vineyards -- Team Australia Honda/Dallara/Firestone, making his first appearance in Detroit, posted no time when he was unable to compete in Round #2 of qualifying after severely damaging the left rear of his car in Round #1. He will start on the outside of Row #6.
"I am very happy with the performance of KV Racing Technology today," Servia said. "It is another road course where we qualified in the top-six, in fact in the top-three. We just keep working hard and it is paying off. We went into qualifying today and I wasn't sure we would make it through the first round. But, I just kept pushing, caught a little magic and it all worked out. This qualifying format is amazing. It is very challenging. It is good for the fans and for the drivers."
Commenting on tomorrow's race Servia said, "Tomorrow's race is going to be very competitive. This is a very challenging track. It is very difficult to pass and it is very unforgiving. You have to push hard, but you cannot make a mistake."
Regarding his qualifying session Power said, "It's a very disappointing qualifying session for Aussie Vineyards -- Team Australia I only managed to get one good lap in the first round, but it still got me into the top-12. The car was really quick, but I brushed the wall and damaged it. The crew did a great job trying to fix it. We just didn't have enough time to get it all done. We'll start 12th tomorrow and try and do a good job in the race."
Servia, started the day ninth on the speed charts after yesterday's twin practices with a time of 74.7147 seconds (99.739 mph). In this morning's practice, which was run in two groups, he went out with the first group and posted the third fastest lap of his session, 73.6896 seconds (101.127 mph), and the seventh quickest when the times from both groups were combined. Power, 11th fastest yesterday, 74.8398 seconds (99.573 mph), ran with the second group and showed even more dramatic improvement recording the third fastest time in his session and the fourth best overall recording a lap of 73.3127 seconds (101.647 mph).
In Round #1 of qualifying, Servia again ran in Group #1 and recorded the fourth fastest time with a lap of 73.4041 seconds (101.520 mph) to advance to Round #2. Power, in Group #2 of Round #1, also advanced when he ran the second fastest lap in his session, 72.9377 seconds (102.169 mph). However, with just a couple minutes remaining in his session, Power brushed the wall in Turn #3 severely damaging his left rear. He immediately pitted, thereby avoiding a caution which would have eliminated his best two laps, where crew members from both KVRT cars sprang into action in an valiant attempt to repair the wounded vehicle in time to participate in Round #2. Unfortunately, time was not on their side and while the repairs were completed there simply was not enough time left for Power to participate in the round. Servia meanwhile, had a solid second round posting the fourth fasted lap 72.6978 seconds (102.507) to advance to the final round, the Firestone Fast Six. In the finals, Servia ran his quick lap on the third of his five timed laps.
This is the fifth time in six road/street events that KVRT has placed at least one car in the Firestone Fast Six, the final round of road and street race qualifying and the fourth time that Servia has made the final round (Servia in Watkins Glen, Edmonton, Sonoma and Detroit; Power, St. Petersburg, Edmonton and Sonoma).
Today's third place qualifying position ties Servia's season high first set at Edmonton, and is his best in three attempts here in Detroit surpassing an 11th place starting spot in 2001. His best finish occurred in 2000, his Detroit debut, when he earned his first career podium placing third. Servia, who has now qualified in the top-10 nine times in 16 races this season, is currently ninth in the standings with 313 points, just 32 points out of sixth place. He has finished in the top-10 six times (four on road/street circuits) including four top-five showings (fifth's at Long Beach, Richmond, Mid-Ohio and Edmonton),. The 34-year-old Spaniard is not only the highest ranked driver transitioning from Champ Car to the IndyCar Series this year, but the highest ranked driver not a member of Andretti Green, Ganassi or Penske Racing. Servia, in his ninth season, but first in IndyCar, is not considered a rookie because of his extensive oval experience. He will be making his 141st career start and 105th on a road/street circuit tomorrow.
Power, currently 15th in the championship standings with 277 points, enters tomorrow's race 33 points out of 10th place and second in the Bombardier Learjet Rookie of the Year race (38 behind Hideki Mutoh).