Lowe's Fernandez Racing on Front Row at Long Beach Lowe's Fernandez Racing will start second overall in the Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach race on Saturday following a superb qualifying effort by Luis Diaz this afternoon.
Lowe's Fernandez Racing on Front Row at Long Beach
Lowe's Fernandez Racing will start second overall in the Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series at Long Beach race on Saturday following a superb qualifying effort by Luis Diaz this afternoon. Diaz missed the top spot by less than a tenth of a second to Timo Bernhard in the #6 Penske Porsche. This is the best starting position to date for the team in its second season of ALMS competition.
The #15 Lowe's Acura ARX-01b LMP2 prototype has been toward the top of the timesheets since the start of on-track activities. Yesterday, Adrian Fernandez claimed the second-quickest time overall at the close of a two-hour test session with a lap of 1:12.986 (97.071 mph).
Today Luis Diaz set the fastest time overall in the first and only official practice session with a lap of 1:12.239 (98.074 mph) on the 1.968-mile temporary street circuit. Diaz continued his strong pace with a best lap of 1:11.424 (99.194 mph) in the 25-minute qualifying session after encountering traffic on what looked to be a pole-winning lap.
Fernandez, meanwhile, began his "double" duties yesterday, traveling to Mexico City Thursday evening for the start of practice in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. He carried his strong pace from the streets of Long Beach to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit setting the fifth-fastest time in the first practice session aboard the #5 Lowe's car fielded by JR Motorsports (just four-tenths of a second off the quickest lap set by Kyle Busch). Focusing on race setup in the second session, he ended the day 13th. David Green will qualify the #5 Lowe's car.
Fernandez will return to Long Beach this evening to take part in Saturday's ALMS warm-up session (7:15 am PT) and tomorrow afternoon's race (4:10 pm PT). He will return to Mexico on Saturday evening for Sunday's Nationwide race at 1:00 pm CT.
Luis Diaz, #15 Lowe's Acura:
"I am happy. It was a good day for us. We were quickest in the morning, and now I had traffic on my good lap and still we are on the front row. I was very happy with the car today. The guys on the Lowe's Fernandez team did a great job in giving me a great car and we know we have a good race car and that is the main thing. We are back in the game and hopefully we will have a good race tomorrow."