DORRICOTT DRIVERS SCORE TOP-10 FINISHES AT CLEVELAND SONOMA, Calif. (July 14, 1998) - - Dorricott Racing's Oriol Servia and Philipp Peter avoided a variety of pitfalls around Cleveland's 2.106-mile, 10-turn Burke...
DORRICOTT DRIVERS SCORE TOP-10 FINISHES AT CLEVELAND
SONOMA, Calif. (July 14, 1998) - - Dorricott Racing's Oriol Servia and Philipp Peter avoided a variety of pitfalls around Cleveland's 2.106-mile, 10-turn Burke Lakefront Airport road circuit, to finish sixth and seventh place, respectively, in round eight of the PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship, Sunday, July 12.
Servia, of Pals, Catalonia, Spain, began the race on the heels of a powerful qualifying session which placed him on the outside pole beside polesitter Luiz Garcia Jr., of Brazil. Garcia took an early lead in the race but not initially over Servia. Servia was passed by series points leader Cristiano da Matta, who started third, before either driver had taken the green flag and crossed the start-finish line. Series officials reviewed the start and determined a violation had not occurred, but not before Servia regained second place from da Matta on lap three.
Servia dropped to third place again after a successful pass by Sergio Paese on lap 11, but re-passed Paese on a lap 15 during a re-start. Servia held second place until lap 21 when he ran off-course in turn four during a nose-to-tail, side-by-side sprint into the turn with two others. Servia lost four positions but quickly resumed the race. Meanwhile, his Austrian teammate, Peter, had quietly maneuvered into seventh place after starting ninth.
Servia's off-course excursion brought out a yellow flag. Peter benefited most on the subsequent re-start when Servia and Tony Renna vied for position, allowing Peter to move around both and into fifth place. Peter's hopes for a late race rally faded, however, when his car developed a fuel pick-up problem in the closing three laps of the 36-lap race. The final lap was error free for Servia who passed Peter at the start-finish line for sixth place.
"This was a pity because I feel we were at least good enough for a third place showing," said Servia. "In turn four, I and two others were looking to get to the corner first. I had the inside line but I was so close to the other cars that I was concerned that if I braked too early, we might make contact. I braked where I usually did but I hit some marbles and scooted off the track."
Peter was pleased with the overall results of the race especially in gaining a few more points in the Lights title chase.
"It was a good race with no mistakes on my part," said Peter. "The team gave me a very well prepared car. I had hoped to catch Guy Smith midway through the race, but my fifth gear was a little short so I was perhaps 20 meters slower through the chicane. That allowed Smith to pull away with little chance for me to outbrake him in turn one.
"With about three laps to go, something gave way in the motor and the car powered down. Renna overtook me in the final corner and Oriol beat me to the finish line. Renna ran a good race. He was very fair and you can trust his ability when running side-by-side through the corners. He runs close but still allows for good spacing between the cars. It was good to finish a race and score some points."
After eight rounds, Peter is ninth in the Indy Lights championship with 43 points while Servia is 13th with 28. Peter is also third in the Rookie-of-the-Year standings behind Smith (60 points) and Derek Higgins (55 points). Round nine of the 14-race 1998 PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship will be this Sunday, July 19, at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.