KV Racing Technology team-mates Oriol Servia and Will Power showed the advantage of having prior experience of the Edmonton City Airport circuit by qualifying well for the latest IndyCar Series round, but their fortunes were very different come raceday.
Servia was making his fourth appearance in Edmonton, having raced there three times in the Champ Car series and qualified a season-high third, two spots ahead of his team-mate, after the pair had set the pace early in practice. The Spaniard held position until pitting for the first time on lap 22, taking advantage of an early caution flag but rejoining in seventh as various strategies played out.
He quickly moved back up to fourth, where he ran until his second and final pit-stop on lap 51, emerging in twelfth but immediately passed three cars, gained another three when other drivers pitted, and then passed two more to retake fourth.
His race turned on lap 81, however, just as he was attempting to pass Dan Wheldon for third place. Ahead of both cars, Marco Andretti emerged from the pits but checked-up for the chicane, causing Servia to hit Wheldon and suffer damage to his front wing. Although the Catalan was able to continue, still in fourth place, the damage began to take its toll with two laps remaining.
In a race already shortened from 95 to 91 laps due to a time limit, Servia began to experience a handling problem which forced him to slow in an effort to reach the finish, only to see Paul Tracy sweep past with the line in sight.
“It was just one of those races,” Servia sighed, “The car was as good, if not better than, any car out there, but the race just didn't go our way. We had a couple of issues on pit-stops and lost some places, but the car was good enough to pick them back up.
"Then, when I was racing with Dan Wheldon, Marco came out of the pits and parked it in the chicane. Wheldon braked hard, I tried to slow down, but had nowhere to go and hit him really hard. I broke the front wing, but the car didn't lose too much lap time. It was just the last two laps, as the steering arm started to break and, on the last lap, completely broke.
"So, in a way, we were unlucky, but lucky to finish at all. We still managed to get some good points for the championship, but it was disappointing because we had a car to battle with whoever we wanted today.”
On the other side of the garage, it was a completely different story as Power's hopes of following up his fourth place from Mid-Ohio with something better on a track he knew well ended early.