Friday practice: Servia starts well

Oriol Servia started the Montreal Champ Car weekend in the best possible way by leading both Friday practice sessions in his Patrick Racing Lola.

Friday practice: Servia starts well

The Catalonian ran a 1m24.325s lap in the first 50 minutes of track time and lowered the mark to 1m22.560s in the second session. Team Rahal's Michel Jourdain was second fastest in both groups, lapping within 0.2s of Servia in the second session at 1m22.747s.

Times so far are around 4secs slower than Cristiano da Matta's 2002 pole lap of 1m18.959s. While the times are expected to drop by another one or two seconds throughout the balance of the weekend, the reduced power of the 2003 Champ Car engine specification should prevent anyone from approaching da Matta's record.

Darren Manning was third fastest on 1m22.775s, while Bruno Junqueira and Patrick Carpentier were the only other drivers to break the 1m23s barrier. CART championship leader Paul Tracy was sixth fastest on 1m23.016s.

The sessions were only briefly interrupted for spins, with no major contact reported. Both Herdez Competition drivers (Roberto Moreno and Mario Dominguez) had minor offs, while Servia had a squirrelly moment under braking and a run through the grass shortly after turning his fastest lap.

In other CART news, Team Rahal announced it will field a second Toyota/Atlantic Championship entry alongside Danica Patrick for the last two races of the season, to be driven by 2002 Atlantic series champion Jon Fogarty. The American has sat on the sidelines in 2003 after his hopes to move up to Champ Cars fell through.

"This will give Jon a chance to put an exclamation point on his championship from last year," said Bobby Rahal.

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