Lowe's Fernandez Racing Finishes Fifth in Utah It was a valiant effort by Lowe's Fernandez Racing and drivers Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz in the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix this afternoon which, unfortunately, resulted in ...
Lowe's Fernandez Racing Finishes Fifth in Utah
It was a valiant effort by Lowe's Fernandez Racing and drivers Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz in the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix this afternoon which, unfortunately, resulted in an unrepresentative fifth-place class and overall finish.
The team inherited a front row starting position after the second-place car of de Ferran Motorsports was regulated to the back of the field for changing tires following an off-course excursion in yesterday's qualifying session. Diaz made a great start passing the # 7 Penske Porsche of Timo Bernhard on the opening lap and was able to stay on the heels of the more powerful LMP1 cars which moved to the front in the early stages.
Diaz briefly lost the LMP2 advantage in traffic but was able to repass the Porsche on a Lap 13 restart to assume the overall lead of the race after the LMP1 leaders pitted. He showed that the #15 Lowe's Acura ARX was definitely the class of the field as he pulled away from not only the second-place LMP2 car of de Ferran but the Audis as well. He held the overall lead until Lap 38 (1 hour 11 minutes in) when he pitted to turn the controls over to Fernandez.
After tremendous service by the crew under the green flag stop, Fernandez emerged fourth in class and sixth overall with scheduled pit stops still in line for the frontrunners. Fernandez, however, fell victim to wrong place, wrong time on Lap 47 as the #20 Dyson Porsche rejoined the track directly on the racing line after an off-course excursion. The resulting light contact resulted in Fernandez losing the right-front dive plane which affected the handling of the #15 machine. He battled both an ill-handling car and traffic in the closing stages to a fifth-place result.
Adrian Fernandez, #15 Lowe's Acura ARX: "I think we had the car to win today. Luis proved it and I was out there running pretty easily. Traffic in this series can be very frustrating -- very unpredictable -- and you just never know what is going to happen. One of the Dyson cars went off and came back on track and suddenly just turns into the corner in front of me. I never expected it. He was coming very slow and when you are that slow, you don't jump onto the racing line. I was at least 40 miles an hour quicker than him. Once we damaged the dive plane, we had a lot of push in the car. Towards the end, the car was better but it was a little too late. Luis did a tremendous job. We just have to keep doing this and one day we will get our race. It was a frustrating end."
Luis Diaz, #15 Lowe's Acura ARX: "I have mixed emotions today. The team gave us a great car but this series can be very tough because you have the mix of the different classes and the traffic. On one side, I am happy because the car was unbelievable -- really unbelievable. On the other, I think the team deserved a better result. It was not in our hands today but I am optimistic. I cannot wait until the next race."