Patrick makes switch to Lola

Patrick Racing has confirmed that it will switch from Reynard to Lola chassis for its assault on the CART series with driver Oriol Servia

Patrick makes switch to Lola

The team has also revealed that it has signed veteran Champ Car engineer Steve Challis as its new chief engineer. Challis has switched to the team from the Andretti Green outfit so that he can remain in CART.

Driver Oriol Servia raced both Lola and Reynard cars last season. He began the year driving a Lola for PWR Racing, before switching to a Reynard with Patrick. "I think the Reynard can be a very good car, but the Lola just makes the driver's job easier," he said. "It is quicker right off the trailer and more forgiving in terms of the setup."

Jim McGee, general manager of Patrick Racing, said: "One of the main reasons for the switch to the Lola is that we weren't sure there would be any development with the Reynard, or that parts would be available."

Speaking about Challis joining the team, McGee added: "[He] is someone who has a lot of experience in the CART Series. He has a tremendous background and a lot of experience with the Lolas, which is a big plus for our team. Steve is a very practical engineer and someone, we feel, that can put a competitive racecar on the track."

Challis began his motorsport career in Formula 2000 and rose through the ranks to become the engineer for the late Greg Moore at Forsythe Racing. In 2000 he switched to the Team Green outfit, and has been the chief race engineer for both Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy.

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