Dorricott Racing Charges to Top

CATALONIA'S ORIOL SERVIA FINISHES SECOND IN TORONTO INDY LIGHTS; DORRICOTT DRIVERS TAKE COMMAND OF INDY LIGHTS CHAMPIONSHIP TORONTO, Ont., Canada (July 18, 1999) - - In an crash plagued race where caution proved the better part of...


TORONTO, Ont., Canada (July 18, 1999) - - In an crash plagued race where caution proved the better part of valor, Oriol Servia, of Pals, Catalonia, Spain, displayed the moxie of a champion as he drove his Catalonia/RACC/Elf Lola to its third consecutive second place finish in round seven of the 12-race PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship at Toronto's Exhibition Place, Sunday, July 18. Servia crossed the finish line 1.305-seconds short of race winner Geoff Boss but increased his series lead over eighth place race finisher and teammate Casey Mears, of Bakersfield, Calif., to 13 points, 85-72. Servia, who has six runner-up credits in 21 career Indy Lights starts, has finished second place in four of the last five Indy Lights races. Second place honors this season also include Nazareth, Portland, and Cleveland in rounds three, five, and six. He also earned second place at Trois-Rivieres and Laguna Seca last year. Fellow Dorricott driver Philipp Peter, of Monte Carlo, Monaco, also gained ground in his championship ambitions behind a seventh place finish. It was enough to move him into sole possession of third place with 66 points. The 43-lap race around Exhibition Place's 1.721-mile, 11-turn street circuit opened to yellow flags when Mario Dominguez, of Mexico, rolled to a stop between turns six and seven with transmission problems. Servia, who started fourth, took full advantage of the third lap re-start by overtaking Frenchman Didier Andre on the front-straight-away and passing him through turn one. Peter, meanwhile, improved his ninth place starting spot by passing Ireland's Derek Higgins in the first corner for eighth. Mears quickly joined the act when he passed two cars on the first lap and moved up three positions to 16th after starting 19th. Mears continued to "leap frog" forward on the following two laps and was 13th on lap five when an Airton Dare crash brought out the race's second caution period. Crashes by Rodolfo Lavin on lap 11, and race-ending contact between David Pook and Ben Collins on lap 16 each provided more opportunities for Mears to advance. By lap 17, Mears was "up nine" and in 10th place. A single incident involving Andy Boss on lap 21 moved Mears inside the top 10 for the first time all weekend for any on-track session. Servia maintained his grip on second place while Peter crept to eighth. The remaining 22 laps were unfettered from yellow flags which permitted the remaining cars to race cleanly. Servia, Peter, and Mears were in second, seventh, and eighth place, respectively, by lap 25. Servia mounted his strongest challenge of Boss on lap 29 when he closed to within 0.875-seconds of the polesitter. Boss withstood the pressure, but Servia's stalking continued until the checkered flag closed this chapter of Indy Lights. Although Boss didn't fold, Servia was paid the greater dividend by scoring more championship points and padding his lead over Mears - a lead that was only two points when the race began. "I was really trying hard to get around Geoff (Boss) but he had a really well running car," said Servia. "At one point I thought I could catch him because I saw him slide a little. I hoped his tires would wear out due to the sliding. The bottom line is I waited too long before I tried to power up on him. By then, Geoff had control of his car back." Peter posed similar threats to Guy Smith and Jonny Kane for fifth and sixth place during the final nine laps, but their slower cars presented a different problem. In the end, he decided the risks outweighed the benefits and chose to hold rather than gamble his position. "The most important things, in order, were to finish the race, score points, and improve our position," said Peter. "I was hurt by poor qualifying again. We have a knack at finding the wrong timing either on the track with red flags, crashes, or in our set-up. It was hard moving through the field because the drivers up front were very good and weren't going to simply drop out. "The car was fine by race time and it showed, but we have to get it better prepared prior to the race. I would have finished fourth or fifth if I would have started around there. The cars directly in front of me were slower, and there was a little bit of bad blocking from Guy Smith. Regardless, it's good to have all three Dorricott drivers leading in the points even though I would prefer being the leader of the leaders." Mears efforts didn't go unnoticed as he was awarded four Dayton Daytona racing tires for being the "Move to the Front" award recipient by virtue of improving the most positions (11) during the race. "The race was a complete turn-around from the rest of the weekend," said Mears. "We struggled with mechanical and set-up problems. Everything turned for the better when we changed to Philipp's (Peter) set-up. That combined with avoiding track trouble during the race gave me the chance to score points. Now we're one-two-three in the point standings. We couldn't be happier heading to Michigan." Toronto etched Dorricott Racing into the Indy Lights history books as only the second team in series history to have three drivers positioned first, second, and third place at any time in the championship standings. Tasman Motorsports Group achieved similar success after round eight (Mid-Ohio) of the 1994 Indy Lights Championship when '94 Lights champion Steve Robertson, Eddie Lawson, and Andre Ribeiro were ranked first, second, and third, respectively. ESPN2 will provide an encore telecast of the Toronto Indy Lights race, Wednesday, July 21, from 4:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. ET (1:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. PT). Dorricott Racing's next stop is the Detroit News 100 at Michigan Speedway, on Saturday, July 24.

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Guy Smith , Casey Mears , Didier André , Airton Daré , Oriol Servia , Derek Higgins , Mario Dominguez , Jonny Kane , Ben Collins , Rodolfo Lavin , Eddie Lawson , Geoff Boss , Andre Ribeiro , Philipp Peter , Steve Robertson