Patrick Racing Signs Servia For Next 5 Races
©2002 SpeedCenter Publishing

Servia is the 1999 Indy Lights Championship

JACKSON, Mich. -- Visteon/Patrick Racing announced today that the team has signed Oriol Servia to compete in the next five races of the 2002 FedEx Championship Series season.

Servia, 28, will pilot the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing entry, with Toyota power and Bridgestone tires, beginning with the up coming Molson Indy Vancouver, July 26-28, on the Concord Pacific Place street circuit in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

“Oriol is a very talented, young driver and the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team has had several discussions with him over the last couple of years,” U.E. “Pat” Patrick noted. “When he became available we had to take a very hard look at our current situation and what was best for our sponsor Visteon, the team, and Townsend. Putting Oriol in the car for the next five races will give us a chance to evaluate our race team, and give Townsend (Bell) an opportunity to sit back and study things from a more objective position. After that we will see where we stand and go forward from there,” Patrick concluded.

A native of Pals, Catalonia Spain, Servia graduated from the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya with a degree in mechanical engineering. He began racing competitively in 1988 driving go-karts. From 1992-1997, Servia competed as a member of the Elf Campus driver development program. During that period he finished fourth in the 1996 French Formula 3 Championship and sixth in the 1997 Macao Formula 3 World Championship. Servia moved to the United States in 1998 and competed in his first full Dayton Indy Lights Championship season. He finished seventh in the championship standings that first year on the strength of six top-ten finishes. In 1999, Servia captured the Indy Lights Championship. The resident of Miami, Florida, who is in his third CART season (43 starts), made his Champ Car debut in 2000 with PPI Motorsports. He scored championship points in 11 of the 20 events that year, led by his first career podium finish a third place showing at Detroit and a fifth place performance at Gateway International. Servia was the runner-up to Kenny Brack for the Jim Trueman “Rookie of the Year” Award in 2000. Moving to Sigma Autosports in 2001, Servia enjoyed another solid season scoring points in nine of 20 starts. His top finish was fifth in consecutive events at Vancouver and Germany. Servia also demonstrated his consistency in 2001 by finishing 15 of the 20 events placing second in laps completed. Most recently, Servia competed for PacWest Racing (PWR) running the first three events of 2002 before the team ceased operations. He scored points in all three races, finishing in the top-ten twice with a best showing of sixth in Motegi, Japan.

“I am very proud and happy to be joining the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team,” Servia said. “This is one of the premier teams in the FedEx Championship Series and Visteon Corporation is a tremendous sponsor. I am looking forward to showing what I can do with the right team over the next five races,” he noted.

Commenting on how the signing came about, Servia said, “I have been watching the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team since 1999 and have actually had several discussions with Mr. Patrick and Jim McGee over the last few years. Unfortunately, things never quite worked out. This time, all the pieces came together at the same time. I would have preferred to join the team under different circumstances. I know from experience how hard it is to work your way into this series, and I certainly didn’t want to take someone’s ride. However, when this opportunity became available it was obvious that it was the best situation for my career,” Servia explained.

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