© St. Petersburg Times, published February 22, 2003
Michael Andretti is gone to the rival IRL but his merchandise lives on in the Champ Car series. One of the longest lines at the souvenir trailers Friday was at the one offering the Andretti Signature line, including shirts for his IRL team, Andretti Green Racing ($20 short sleeve, $35 long). At the Team Rahal trailer, an Andretti diecast car was marked down from $55
ORIOL SERVIA: Do you believe there's a racing driver who doesn't own a car? Servia's preferred personal transportation is a KTM 400 four-stroke motorcycle. "I am addicted to racing cars, but I love motorcycles," he said. Servia, who drives for Patrick Racing, has been cycling since his father, Salvador, a two-time Spanish rally champion, gave him an off-road cycle when he was 21/2 years old. Technically, Servia got into racing before he was born. His mother, Montse, was pregnant with him while navigating races with her her husband.
Decibel levels from various points around the course (For comparison, a power tool generates noise at a level of about 110):
105: Reading at 8:30 a.m. in front of Bayfront Towers at the edge of the course as the Trans-Ams ran the first practice of the morning.
101: Reading at 10:10 a.m. in the same area when the Champ Cars were practicing for the first session.
107: Reading at noon near Turn 10 during the second Champ Car practice.
109: Reading at 1:30 p.m. across from the Hilton as the Barber Dodge cars were qualifying.
112: Reading at 1:40 p.m. on Bayshore Drive near Pioneer Park during Barber Dodge qualifying.
Ear plugs are available at the track, generally for $1 or $2.
Tickets are available at entry gates, the box office at the Coliseum, 535 Fourth Avenue N, or call 1-888-347-7333 or visit www.gpstpete.com. A general admission ticket for today only is $25. Sunday tickets are $75 and $55 for adults and $55 and $35 for 12 and under.
Today: mostly cloudy, 30 percent chance of rain, high of 74. Sunday: mostly sunny, 20 percent chance of rain, high of 68.
Speed Channel will broadcast Champ Car qualifying at 1:30 today. Only digital cable subscribers and dish users receive Speed Channel.