Sebring: Fernandez Racing qualifying report

Lowe's Fernandez Racing Starts Third in Class at Sebring Lowe's Fernandez Racing drivers Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz will start third in class and sixth overall for the ALMS season-opening 56th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring....

Lowe's Fernandez Racing Starts Third in Class at Sebring

Lowe's Fernandez Racing drivers Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz will start third in class and sixth overall for the ALMS season-opening 56th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Fernandez was to handle qualifying duties for the #15 Lowe's Acura ARX-01b LMP2 prototype, but a major accident by the #8 P2 Mazda piloted by Ben Devlin brought the session to an early end. [Devlin was unhurt in the incident.]

Fernandez, in addition to several other drivers, did not turn a lap in the initial stages of what was scheduled to be a 25-minute qualifying session as the team planned to wait for track conditions to improve before releasing the #15 Lowe's machine. As a result of the incident, the final grid was determined by times from the three official practice sessions. Fernandez had posted the best time for the team in the second practice session yesterday afternoon where he ended the outing second-quickest overall with a lap of 1:46.029 (125.626 mph).

Diaz will start Saturday's race, which marks the debut of the team's new equipment package after a move to the ARX chassis. Lowe's Fernandez Racing captured their best result of 2007 at Sebring last March, netting a second-place podium finish in LMP2 class competition and third-place overall in their ALMS debut.

The 56th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida will be broadcast live on SPEED beginning at 9:30 am EST and throughout Latin America via Fox/SPEED Latin America beginning at 8:30 am EST.

Adrian Fernandez, #15 Lowe's Acura ARX-01b: "I think everybody is disappointed that we didn't qualify, but it was a big crash and we are happy that Ben [Devlin] is okay. A large part of the preparation the past three days was to qualify and it would have been fun to at least have had five minutes. I think it would have been extremely exciting. In the end, it came down to who put a good time before that and we are third. It really took the emotional element and fun part of qualifying out of it. Now we just have to change our focus to the race. In the practice this evening, we'll go through our checklist with the lights, etc. to make sure Luis and I are comfortable and that's really it. We have worked enough with the car and Saturday we will find out where we are versus the competition. I have a good feeling we will be fine. How strong we don't know yet but I think this race is a race where you have to have a lot of patience, be consistent and not have problems. If we can get away with that the whole 12 hours, I think we will be in great shape at the end of the day."

Luis Diaz, #15 Lowe's Acura ARX-01b: "I didn't drive today so I cannot say much. We are going to keep working in the night session. I think it is very important for us to set the car well for those conditions because that is the time of the day that you are going to be deciding the race in case you are racing close to the front and that is the plan. Looking ahead to the race, it is good to start near the front. It would be nice to set a good pace from the beginning and be there with the leaders, which is important. I feel pretty comfortable that even though we didn't qualify, we would have been around those positions. I think the car is there so I am confident that we will have a good car for the race and a good finish."

-credit: fr

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Series ALMS
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Ben Devlin , Luis Diaz