Lowe's Fernandez Racing Finishes Second at Mosport Lowe's Fernandez Racing claimed their best finish of the 2008 season to date this afternoon with a second-place class result in the Mobil 1 Presents the Grand Prix of Mosport. The result was the...
Lowe's Fernandez Racing Finishes Second at Mosport
Lowe's Fernandez Racing claimed their best finish of the 2008 season to date this afternoon with a second-place class result in the Mobil 1 Presents the Grand Prix of Mosport. The result was the second podium finish for Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz in the last three races and their fifth career ALMS podium.
Diaz started the race and, after a good battle with fellow Acura driver James Rossiter in the #26 Andretti Green car, emerged third in class after the first round of pit stops. The team elected to keep Diaz in the car and he ran as high as second before pitting on Lap 68 with 77 minutes remaining to turn the car over to Fernandez under a full-course yellow.
The key to the race turned out to be the ensuing pit stops to top off with fuel with Fernandez pitting on Lap 72 and race winner David Brabham pitting on Lap 73. The team was hoping to make it to the end without another stop with a little yellow flag help.
Fernandez ran a strong pace trying to chase down then race leader Gil de Ferran. He was running second in class and fourth overall with 17 minutes remaining when the team radioed that he was a third of a gallon short of fuel at that stage to make it to the end. Despite pressure from Brabham and the #7 Penske Porsche of Romain Dumas, Fernandez managed to save fuel. He was passed by Brabham for second-place with five minutes remaining and resumed the spot after de Ferran ran out of fuel on the last lap.
Adrian Fernandez, #15 Lowe's Acura ARX: "I am proud of Luis. He did a good job. At the first round of pit stops around an hour in, I was ready [to get in the car] but Luis was doing a good job and I thought it was a good time to keep him on the track. He was carrying a good momentum. On the next stop, we pitted at the right time. We pitted again to top off with fuel but David Brabham pitted one or two laps later. I think that was the difference. The car was actually quite good. In the warm-up, I wasn't very happy with the car. It was quite loose. I was charging Gil [de Ferran] pretty hard and I was quicker than him. When we saw that it was possibility going to be a fuel race, I started to save fuel. I was trying to hold off Brabham and the #7 [Penske Porsche] which was not easy. The team said that we weren't going to make it and we needed better fuel mileage. I tried to stay in front which is easy to say. At the end, David was close to me and he decided to push the button for maximum fuel and make the pass. He had the momentum into Turn Eight and that was it. It was not worth pushing and wasting all the fuel because we were close. I wanted to make sure we made it to the end. Brabham pitted one lap later than us and that was the difference between winning and coming second. We had a great strategy and I am very happy to put a good result with all the Lowe's Canada people here today. This really should have been our third podium in a row after Elkhart Lake [suspension failure while running second] but we will keep pushing and hopefully our first win will be soon."
Luis Diaz, #15 Lowe's Acura ARX: "It was a great day for us. We were very close to winning the race. The team keeps showing that we are a very strong team. We were fighting at the end and it came down to a strategy race at the end. The car was running strong again. We did smart moves and it is a great result. I am very happy for all the Lowe's Canada folks that came to see us today and for the team. Adrian did an unbelievable job. He was saving fuel with traffic and with pressure. He was fantastic and I am very proud to be his teammate. I know that we will get a victory soon."