Detroit: Fernandez Racing race report

Lowe's Fernandez Racing Finishes Fourth in Detroit The Lowe's Fernandez Racing driving team of Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz finished fourth in class and sixth overall this afternoon in the inaugural Detroit Sports Car Challenge Presented by ...

Lowe's Fernandez Racing Finishes Fourth in Detroit

The Lowe's Fernandez Racing driving team of Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz finished fourth in class and sixth overall this afternoon in the inaugural Detroit Sports Car Challenge Presented by Bosch at Belle Isle. This is the fifth top-five finish for the team and the result has moved Fernandez and Diaz into sixth in the championship point standings, 17 points outside the top three, with two events remaining.

Diaz started the race from sixth on the grid. His was running in eighth position, after being passed by the two Audi LMP1 cars in the opening stages, when a full-course fell 28 minutes into the race [Lap 20]. The team elected to keep Diaz out and, as many of the front runners pitted, he was shown in second when the green flag fell on Lap 27. Diaz did an excellent job in holding off the charge of eventual race winner Timo Bernhard for over 20 laps. When it came time for the team's first pit stop on Lap 57 under green, Diaz was pushed into the marbles by traffic resulting in a considerable delay on his in lap to the pits which proved costly.

As a result of the slow in lap, the team went down one lap to the lead Audi. When Diaz turned the controls over to Fernandez, the #15 Acura Lola returned to the track in ninth position. Within two laps, the track went full-course yellow again and the team was caught behind the leading Audi. As the majority of the field pitted for fuel, Fernandez was held behind the pace car until he received the wave around which put him in eighth position. He was able to make some gains but battled a major lack of grip in the closing hour of the race and had to settle for a fourth-place result.

Adrian Fernandez, #15 Lowe's Acura Lola:

"We had a great strategy for the race which looked like it would have played out in our favor for awhile until we lost some time coming in for our pit stop. We were going for a win today and I think we had the strategy to get us to the front. In all, I think we had a good race. Luis drove a very good stint. He was very strong and I was very proud of him. On my stint, it was like the front tires never came up temperature-wise. There is a lot of concrete and the front tires felt like they were numb -- no grip -- so it was hard for me to battle with anyone. I was good in the fast corners but not in the slow corners. Stefan [Johansson] passed me during a good opportunity with traffic. I just couldn't play it too aggressive at that point. If our strategy had played out, I think we could have finished second."

Luis Diaz, #15 Lowe's Acura Lola:

"It was a tough race as we expected but we were again close to the podium. I had a pretty good stint and I was able to hold the #7 Porsche back. Unfortunately, I had a problem on my lap coming into the pits and I lost quite a bit there. I think that cost us some in this race and if that wouldn't have happened, I would feel good. But it did happen and I don't feel 100% satisfied today. I know the next two races will be great tracks for us, and we are looking to pick up more points and end the year strong.

-credit: fr

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Luis Diaz