Lowe's Fernandez Racing Qualifies Third Overall in Season Finale
Luis Diaz gave his fellow Acura drivers a run for their money in qualifying this afternoon for the Monterey Sports Car Championships Presented by Patron. Missing the overall pole position by just .104 seconds, Diaz claimed the seventh class pole for Lowe's Fernandez Racing and his fourth of the season in the American Le Mans Series 2009 finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Diaz and teammate Adrian Fernandez were strong out of the box, claiming the fastest overall time in the opening practice session and placing second overall in the final outing prior to qualifying. Diaz looked poised to claim the second front row starting position for Lowe's Fernandez Racing at the Monterey circuit, but lost out by just .012 seconds to Patron Highcroft Racing's David Brabham. Gil de Ferran of de Ferran Motorsports took top honors in what will be his final race as a driver.
Luis Diaz: "We have a great team -- great engineers and great mechanics. The car was awesome today. I love this track. It is a good track for me. This is a very special weekend for all of us and we are doing everything we can to get the best result possible; to finish a cycle with this team as high as possible. I think this a good example of what this team is all about. It is about giving everything we have always. No matter if it is the first or the last race, we will keep doing our best."
Adrian Fernandez: "It was a very good day. The car has been fantastic since we unloaded. We were fast here last year and it is exactly where we left it. Luis and I have driven well and John [Ward, race engineer] and the boys have done a tremendous job in setting up the car. We were so close to the overall pole. Now we have to focus on the race and finish the job with a good result to end the season. I think we have a shot at an overall win. Obviously we have to make sure we don't lose a lap to the P1 cars but looking at everything, I think we will be okay. At night, if we have a restart or something like that, we may be in business. With the close times between the P1s and P2s, it will be an exciting race."