KV RACING TECHNOLOGY- TEAM AUSTRALIA'S WILL POWER FASTEST AFTER FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE FOR NIKON INDY 300 ORIOL SERVIA FOURTH SURFERS PARADISE, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA - - OCTOBER 24, 2008 - - Round ...
KV RACING TECHNOLOGY- TEAM AUSTRALIA'S WILL POWER FASTEST AFTER FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE FOR NIKON INDY 300
ORIOL SERVIA FOURTH
SURFERS PARADISE, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA - - OCTOBER 24, 2008 - - Round #18 2008 IndyCar Series season - - KV Racing Technology - Team Australia's Will Power posted the fastest time on the combined speed report following the first day of practice for the Nikon Indy 300 in Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia. Teammate Oriol Servia was fourth.
Power, KV Racing Technology #8 Aussie Vineyards -- Team Australia Honda/Dallara/Firestone, making his third appearance at his home track, logged a fast lap of 94.8084 seconds (106.130 mph), on the 2.795-mile, 12-turn, temporary street circuit. He was 1.3 seconds quicker than the next fastest driver. Servia, KV Racing Technology #5 Team Australia Honda/Dallara/Firestone, making his ninth appearance in Surfers Paradise, posted a fast time of 96.4394 seconds (104.335 mph).
In the morning session Power posted the fastest time of the 24 drivers entered in the race with a lap of 96.3391 seconds (104.444 mph) while Servia, who had an incident three quarters of the way through the 90-minute session, still managed to record the eighth fastest lap, 97.4146 seconds (103.290 mph). During the second practice both drivers made significant improvement as track conditions improved. Power, who ran a total of 40 laps today, the second most of any driver, posted his quick time on the 17th of the 19 laps he ran in the second session. Servia, who missed the first 20 minutes of the one hour afternoon practice while his car was being repaired, steadily moved up the speed charts in the second session. He ran a total of 24 laps for the day recording his fast lap on the 12th of 19 laps he ran in the afternoon.
"It was a very good day for the #8 KV Racing Technology -- Team Australia car," Power said. "It's still early and qualifying isn't until tomorrow. That and Sunday are all that matter to me. I am glad we are quick, but we still need to improve the car a bit tonight. This is a very competitive field and we will have to be faster tomorrow."
Commenting on his day, Servia said, "It seems like the #5 KV Racing Technology -- Team Australia car is good shape," said Servia. "Will (team-mate Will Power) showed the speed that the car has, which is very good. I hurt my chances by crashing in the first practice, so am a little behind on the laps. But, the crew did a great job getting the car back together and I really want to thank them. Also, I know, and really like, this track, so I am confident we are going to get back to the top."
Power, who is in his fourth U. S. based open-wheel season (three in Champ Car - 2005-2007), finished 12th in his inaugural IndyCar Series season with 331 points and third in the Bombardier Learjet Rookie of the Year race, 15 points behind Hideki Mutoh, who finished 10th in the standings (this year's Australia race does not count in the championship standings). The 27-year-old Australian earned six top-10 finishes this season (four on road/street circuits) including three top-five showings (win in Long Beach, fourth in Mid-Ohio and fifth on the oval in Chicago) with one victory. He was the third highest in the standings of the drivers transitioning from Champ Car to the IndyCar Series.
Power will be making his 48th career start, 37th on a road/street course and third in Surfers Paradise this weekend. He has earned 25 top-10 finishes including 14 top-five showings with seven podium performances, three victories and six poles in his 47 career starts. In 36 previous starts on road/street circuits, Power has earned 23 top-10 finishes including all 13 of his career top-five showings, all seven podium performances, all three of his career victories (Las Vegas and Toronto in 2007, Long Beach in 2008) and all six of his career poles. In his two previous starts at Surfers he has qualified on pole twice, finishing 12th in 2006 and 16th in 2007
Servia is in his ninth season and first IndyCar season, but is not considered a rookie because of his extensive oval experience. The 34-year-old native of Pals, Catalonia, Spain, finished ninth in his inaugural IndyCar Series season with 358 points, just 21 points out of sixth place. He scored seven top-10 finishes (five on road/street circuits) including five top-five showings (season high fourth at Detroit and fifth's at Long Beach, Richmond, Mid-Ohio and Edmonton). Servia was the best of the drivers transitioning from Champ Car to the IndyCar Series this year, especially on ovals. He tied for the best finish on an oval of any transition driver, fifth in Richmond, and had the best finish of the transition drivers on five of the ten ovals, Homestead, Indy, Milwaukee, Richmond and Kentucky.
Servia will be making his 143rd career start, 107th on a road/street circuit and ninth at Surfers Paradise. In 142 career starts, Servia has 77 top-10 finishes including 39 top-five showings with 16 podium performances, one victory (Montreal 2005) and one pole (Surfers Paradise 2005). He has earned 60 top-10 finishes including 29 top-five showings with 13 podiums, one win (Montreal 2005), one pole (Australia 2005) in his 106 road/street races. In his eight previous races at Surfers, Servia has qualified in the top-10 five times including twice in the top- five with one pole in 2005. He has finished in the top-10 twice with a best showing of fifth in 2005 (ninth in 2000).
There will be another practice session tomorrow which will be split into two groups with the first group going out at 9:50 a.m. Qualifying is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. tomorrow. The Nikon Indy 300 will be broadcast on ESPN Classic on Saturday, October 2 at 10:30 p.m. ET. There will be a re-air on ESPN 2 on Sunday, October 26 at 10:00 p.m.