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Servia breaks victory duck

29 August 2005

Oriol Servia broke his Champ Car World Series victory duck in the most bizarre fashion when rookie Timo Glock was ordered by Champ Car officials to move over and let the Spaniard past on the final lap of Sunday's Molson Indy Montreal.

Glock was adjudged to have missed the final chicane on two occasions as he and Servia tussled for the lead in the closing laps but despite the obvious disappointment for Glock, the young German complied with his orders and allowed Servia through half way round the final tour. Glock retained second place with Justin Wilson completing the podium.

"It feels awesome," Servia said afterwards, "it feels awesome. I'm not going to mention how many times I thought I deserve the win, blah, blah, blah, because the list is so long. But it happened today. It happened because Bruno's accident, which is something none of us wanted. But, you know, I was really happy that decided I was the one to go in the car. I know Bruno was really happy they chose me.

"Since day one, the team has shown great, great support for me, all the guys in the crew, all the owners, and PacifiCare. It just feels extremely good to be able to show them that they did the right choice trusting me. I'm really; really glad I'm able to give them this win. I hope first of many."

Sunday's race had behaved itself perfectly through the first 58 laps as polesitter Sebastien Bourdais – chasing his fourth straight Champ Car World World Series – led from the front on a caution free day. RuSPORT ace Wilson made one serious charge at Bourdais at the end of his first fuel stint, but the Frenchman never let the Brit get that close again, building a six-second lead with 20 laps to go as the series points leader appeared to have the field covered.

The Molson Champ Car Grand Prix of Montreal then revealed its sinister side on lap 58, starting when Ricardo Sperafico suffered a rear-wing failure at the end of the final straight, sending him into the wall near the entrance to Pit Lane. The wing vaulted high over the trailing car of Paul Tracy, but unluckily for AJ Allmendinger it landed right in front of the #10 Western Union Lola, cutting a tyre and forcing the reigning 'Rookie-of-the-Year' title holder into the pits as the track went yellow.

The caution period sent everyone save Glock and Allmendinger down Pit Lane when the pits opened, where more problems befell the title hopefuls. Bourdais had a tyre mounting problem, dropping him two spots in the order, while Tracy had bigger problems. Entering the pits in fourth spot, the Canadian star missed his entry to his pit stall, came in too close to the wall and bumped one of his crew members. He had to be pushed back and lined up again, costing him nine positions.

Glock and Allmendinger were set to take the restart in the lead, but Allmendinger was sent to the back of the restart line since his trip into the pits with the flat tyre came under a closed pit. That ruling moved Wilson into second with Servia in third and Bourdais charging in fourth when the green flag flew on lap 64.

Servia soon made his pass on Wilson for second and immediately got the chance to climb on Glock's rear wing when the yellow banner flew again on lap 66 as Rodolfo Lavin dropped a shock cover directly in the racing line. Glock led on the restart and did yeoman's work in fighting off Servia before the activities on the next-to-last lap, when he cut the final chicane once too often.

The young German still picked up a career-best finish when he slotted in ahead of Wilson after allowing Servia's rule-ordered pass, placing second and scoring the first podium finish of his career.

"It was a really tough race for me, especially because I had to start from eleventh," Glock said. "I used a lot of 'push to pass' at the beginning to get Nelson Philippe and Jimmy Vasser. At the end I had two shots left. When I was leading the race, I saw Oriol behind me. I know he will try to get me because he was second and third so many times and he wants to win. That was clear for me. I mean, it's disappointing. In one way it's disappointing, and on the other way it's a great weekend for us, to be on the podium after all the races without luck."

Wilson rounded out the podium for RuSPORT while Bourdais settled for fourth. Wilson earned his second podium finish of the year with the result and his first since his maiden win at Portland, although the Brit does have seven top-five runs this year. Bourdais set the fastest lap of the race and led a race-high 59 laps in widening his margin in the championship chase to 61 points with four races to run. The 2004 series champion finished on the lead lap again and has run all but one of the scheduled laps during the 2005 schedule.

Servia moved up to second in the standings with his win, leapfrogging the star-crossed Tracy who fell to third in the title hunt after his eighth-place finish. Alex Tagliani rounded out the top five in front of his home crowd while PKV Racing team-mates Cristiano da Matta and Jimmy Vasser chased him home, finishing sixth and seventh respectively.

Tracy finished eighth while Allmendinger rebounded from his penalty to take the ninth spot, It was a finish that allowed him to move back into the top five in the season standings however, as he claimed a one-point advantage over Mario Dominguez, who finished tenth on Sunday.

Servia became the sixth different winner in the Champ Car World Series this year and joins Wilson as drivers who have gained their first series victories this year. Glock became the eleventh different driver to finish on the podium this season and takes a commanding lead in the Roshfrans 'Rookie-of-the-Year' standings, 27 points ahead of Ronnie Bremer.


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