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PKV Racing has productive test at Sebring
Alex Tagliani talks to Nelson Philippe
PKV Racing was both productive and fast during the three day test, February 2-4, at Sebring International Raceway.

After five sessions, two on both Saturday, February 2 and Sunday, February 3 and one Monday, February 4, Alex Tagliani, who was testing with the team for the first time, was third on the combined practice report, while Oriol Servia, who is signed to campaign one of two PKV Racing entries during the 2008 Champ Car World Series season, was fourth.

Tagliani ran a total of 281 laps (466.46 miles), the second most of the 14 drivers participating in the test.  He posted a fast time of 50.173 seconds (119.754 mph) on the 1.66-mile Sebring “short course”.  The 35-year-old native of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, who is entering his ninth Champ Car season, was consistently quick placing in the top-four in three of the five sessions and was never lower than seventh on the combined report.  His fast lap, as with all but one driver, came in the fifth and final session.

“I am very happy with the way the test went,” Tagliani said.  “I very much appreciate and want to thank Kevin Kalkhoven, Jimmy Vasser and Mark Johnson for this opportunity.  This is a dream situation for me.  I just hope everything works out and I can be a part of this team in 2008 because I know they will contend for the championship.”

Tagliani went on to say, “The whole team did a great job at the test and we got a lot done.  This is an outstanding team with a great program and the right attitude.  They were very prepared and everybody worked hard.  I think Oriol and I worked well together.  It was almost like we had been on the same team for five years.”   

Oriol Servia in his PKV Panoz at Sebring
Servia, who ran the most laps of any driver with 288 (478.08 miles), recorded a fast lap of 50.178 seconds (119.742 mph).  The 33-year-old native of Pals, Catalonia, Spain, was in the top-five on the speed charts in four of the five sessions, getting as high as second, and placing in the top-five at the end of practice all three days.  Servia, who is also entering his ninth Champ Car season, recorded his fast lap during the final practice. 

“I am very happy and pleased with the results of the test,” Servia said.  “Not just because of where we ended up on the speed charts, but also because of all the work we got done.  We came here not so concerned about lap times, but to work on some of the projects the engineers have developed since the end of the season.  But, we were still fast.”

Servia went on to say, “We based this test on things we think are going to work at tracks we will race on this season, not just on the conditions at Sebring this weekend where the track had an unusual amount of grip.  I think the engineers and team did a great job.  We were very prepared and went about our work very efficiently.  We learned a lot and I think the data we collected will help us on race weekends.” 

PKV Racing General Manager Mark Johnson said, “This was a great test.  We came here with a solid test plan, executed it well and didn’t vary from it.  We had to be careful not to be deceived by the amount of grip and get lost.  In the end we ran the most laps of any team and had a very productive test.”

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