Traffic Costly for Lowe's Fernandez Racing at Mosport
The Lowe's Fernandez Racing driving team of Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz appeared to be headed for a shot at the podium this afternoon at Mosport International Raceway. That was until an unexpected passenger in the form of a large piece of bodywork lodged on the front of the #15 Lowe's Acura Lola. The ensuing lengthy pit stop to remove the bodywork dropped the duo out of third place and a lap down.
Diaz, who qualified seventh overall and fifth in class, started the race. By Lap 31, he was posting lap times that were third fastest of the P2 field. When he pitted under a yellow shortly after the one hour mark, Diaz was shown third overall behind the two Penske Porsches. Fernandez resumed in third place and held that position until the #1 Audi moved to the front of the field relegating Fernandez to fourth overall and third in class.
Traffic was a factor on the tight circuit and Fernandez was unable to avoid contact with a GT car. Shortly afterwards, he began complaining of a severe push in the car and his lap times dropped significantly -- the result of a large piece of bodywork from the contact that was attached to the left front of the Lowe's car. The team pitted under green on Lap 81 with 50 minutes remaining but a lengthy stop to remove the stuck debris resulted in a fall off the lead lap. The team finished eighth overall and sixth in class.
Lowe's Fernandez Racing will head to Detroit next week for the inaugural Detroit Sports Car Challenge Presented by Bosch at Belle Isle. The 2-hour 45-minute race will be held on Saturday, September 1, at 3:15 pm ET and will be broadcast live on SPEED.
Adrian Fernandez, #15 Lowe's Acura Lola:
"We had a good race. We had some problems in the warm-up and made a few changes and the car was pretty good in the race. Luis had a good fight and then I jumped in the car and we were third behind the Penskes. I thought we were looking good for awhile but when I went to pass one of the backmarkers, he didn't see me. I touched him with my left fender and some of his bodywork stuck to the car. After that, I couldn't turn right and had a huge amount of push which made us pit and also have to change tires instead of just taking fuel because the tires were dirty from the push. After the stop, the car came to life. Unfortunately, it was a little too late because we lost a lot of time. It cost us at least 10 seconds trying to get that piece off. These races are tough and traffic plays a big part. It is just one of those things, and that pit stop cost us. But we had a good race and I was happy with the performance."
Luis Diaz, #15 Lowe's Acura Lola:
"It was a good race for us but, unfortunately, we had that problem with traffic. The team again showed promise and we were close to the Porsches. I think we had a shot for the #6 Porsche to fight with him. The car was pretty strong during my stint. I'm happy because we are getting closer and closer and we need to keep working. I think soon we will have another podium."