KV RACING TECHNOLOGY PLACES BOTH CARS IN TOP-10 IN DETROIT INDY GRAND PRIX; SERVIA FINISHES SEASON HIGH FOURTH DETROIT, MI -- SUNDAY, AUGUST 31, 2008 -- Round ...
KV RACING TECHNOLOGY PLACES BOTH CARS IN TOP-10 IN DETROIT INDY GRAND PRIX; SERVIA FINISHES SEASON HIGH FOURTH
DETROIT, MI -- SUNDAY, AUGUST 31, 2008 -- Round #16 2008 IndyCar Series season -- For the fourth time this season KV Racing Technology placed both cars in the top-10 as drivers Oriol Servia finished a season high fourth and Will Power placed eighth today in the Detroit Indy Grand Prix presented by Firestone at The Raceway at Belle Isle in Detroit, Michigan. 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 third and drove a flawless race and benefitted from both a solid fuel strategy and strong pit stops to earn his seventh top-10 finish in 16 races this year including five top-five showings (the fourth here in Detroit along with fifths in Long Beach, Richmond, Mid-Ohio and Edmonton). Servia, who earned 32 points today, is now seventh in the championship standings with 345 points, just 14 points out of sixth place with one points paying race remaining on the 2008 schedule. He is the highest ranked driver not a member of Andretti Green, Ganassi or Penske Racing.
"I am happy with fourth, but when you are so close to a podium it just feels like it is not enough," Servia said. "The KV Racing Technology car was good especially towards the end of the race. At the beginning we were just not fast enough. The KVRT crew did a great job this weekend and we are getting there, still fighting with the top-three teams, and eventually we will get them."
Power, KV Racing Technology #8 Aussie Vineyards -- Team Australia Honda/Dallara/Firestone, making his first appearance in Detroit, started 12th and was running in seventh when on lap 53 he attempted to pass Ryan Hunter-Reay, who had already been warned by officials about blocking. Power got a run, but ended up making contact damaging his left front wing. Pitting three laps later, his Aussie Vineyard --Team Australia crew performed a bit of magic changing the front wing and tires, plus fueling the car in what had to be record time. When Power rejoined the contest he quickly found himself in 10th place. Driving with determination, he picked up two spots during the final stint to earn his fifth top-10 finish of the season including two top-five showings (a win in Long Beach and a fourth in Mid-Ohio) with one victory in the 16 events this year. Power scored 24 points today and now has 301 placing him 14th in the standings 33 points out of 10th place. He is third in the Bombardier Learjet Rookie of the Year race 33 points Hideki Mutoh.
"I think the Aussie Vineyards -- Team Australia crew did a great job," Power said. "The car was really quick, but I was just unable to pass Hunter-Reay. I tried in Turn #7, got a run on him, then backed out at the last moment, which I shouldn't have done, and lost the front wing. The guys did a great job in the pits getting me back out. I think at best we could have finished fifth or sixth, so it cost me a couple of spots, but still it was a great day and I was happy to have a good fun race. I enjoyed it a lot."
Today's fourth place showing is Servia's second top-four finish in three races on Belle Isle. In his Detroit debut in 2000 he earned his first career podium placing third. Servia, 34, in his ninth season, but first in IndyCar, is not considered a rookie because of his extensive oval experience. The native of Spain made his 141st career start and 105th on a road/street circuit today and has now earned 60 of his 77 career top-10 finishes, 29 of his 39 top-five showings and 13 of his 16 podiums on road or street circuits. His only career victory came on the road course in Montreal, Canada, 2005, and his only pole on the streets of Surfers Paradise, Australia, 2005.
Power, 27, in his fourth U.S. based open-wheel season, made his 46th career start and 36th on a road/street circuit today. The native of Australia has earned 23 of his 24 career top-10 finishes, all 13 of his top-five showings, all seven podium performances, all three of his career victories (Las Vegas and Toronto, 2007 and Long Beach, 2008) and all six of his career poles on road/street circuits. His only top-10 oval finish occurred this year at Iowa where he placed ninth.