Heartbreak for Lowe's Fernandez Racing at Road America
A left rear suspension failure with 30 minutes remaining in the four-hour Generac 500 at Road America dropped the #15 Lowe's Acura ARX out of contention for what looked poised to be another podium finish for the team. Adrian Fernandez was running second overall in the race in a three-car Acura train when the failure occurred, sending Fernandez spinning off course into the gravel trap at Turn Three.
It was a disappointing end to a strong run by the Lowe's Fernandez Racing squad. Luis Diaz, who started the race, turned the car over to Fernandez in first-place overall [Lap 44] after a superb drive which saw Diaz hold the LMP2 class lead for a total of 14 laps during his one-hour and 45-minute stint.
After the pit stops cycled through, Fernandez resumed the LMP2 class lead on Lap 47. He dropped out of the front of the field briefly after battling a loose-handling car, but two well-timed pit stops, great pit work by the team and a solid drive by Fernandez moved the #15 Lowe's Acura into a battle for the front with 30 minutes remaining. The ensuing suspension failure left the team with a disappointing ninth-place LMP2 finish and 25th-place overall result.
Lowe's Fernandez Racing will look for better fortune in two weeks when the American Le Mans Series heads to Mosport International Raceway in Canada for the Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport on August 24.
Adrian Fernandez, #15 Lowe's Acura ARX:
"A tough day really because we were looking good. When I jumped in the car, I think something may have been starting to happen. Turning right, the car was quite loose through the Carousel and the Kink - very loose there. Turning left, the car was actually quite good. We had a great pit stop strategy and I think we had a faster car than [David] Brabham but then the left rear suspension broke and that was it. It's a shame for everybody. Luis did a fantastic job. At the beginning [of my stint], I actually thought I had a puncture or something because the car was acting quite weird. But with the suspension breaking, maybe it sort of explains the situation where I was struggling when I jumped in the car. Something was starting to break. It is just one of those days. I think today could have been another podium finish and a potential win but we will just have to wait for Mosport."
Luis Diaz, #15 Lowe's Acura ARX:
"It's a sad day for us. We had a great weekend until the last 30 minutes. The car was fantastic for me on my first two stints. Adrian did a great job qualifying yesterday and was driving the car very well in the race. Unfortunately, the suspension gave up when we were looking pretty good for our first win. It is really disappointing for all the team, but we have to keep digging."