Lowe's Fernandez Racing Fifth in Long Beach Qualifying Adrian Fernandez qualified the ...
Lowe's Fernandez Racing Fifth in Long Beach Qualifying
Adrian Fernandez qualified the #15 Lowe's Acura Lola fifth in the LMP2 class and seventh overall this afternoon for the debut of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) at the 33rd Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. It was an eventful 25-minute qualifying session for Fernandez, who was quick out of the box on the challenging street circuit and claimed the fastest overall time in the 45-minute morning practice session.
Contact with a slower car that had moved across into the racing line sent Fernandez to the pits early in the session to replace the nose section of the Lowe's machine. Fernandez returned to the track with 12 minutes remaining but was unable to improve his position.
While new to ALMS competition, Lowe's Fernandez Racing has made an impressive start and currently sits second in the LMP2 class point standings -- only three points out of first -- following two top-five results to date of second in Sebring and fourth at St. Petersburg.
Tomorrow's one hour 40-minute race, which begins at 4:00 pm PT, will mark the 14th career start for Fernandez on the temporary street circuit and the sixth for Luis Diaz who won the Grand Am race in Long Beach last year.
Adrian Fernandez, #15 Lowe's Acura Lola:
"There was a car that came out of the pits very slowly and I was coming by on a quick lap. He was to the left and at the last minute pulled to the right and that caught me up. I hit him and we had to come in and change the nose. At the end [of the session] for some reason the car was hitting at the front under braking and that was not allowing me to carry more speed into the apex. Overall, I think we have a good car and it's not the end of our day. There are a lot of things that can happen in the race, just like we saw in St. Petersburg. We just need to regroup. There are still a lot of opportunities for us tomorrow."
Luis Diaz, #15 Lowe's Acura Lola:
"We had some bad luck in qualifying and didn't get a chance to show what we could do, but I am confident that we will have a good car for tomorrow. If we can stay away from trouble in the race, that is all that matters. I know if we can have a clean race, we will finish in the front for sure."