AdriÃ¡n FernÃ¡ndez, Owner/Driver -- ...
Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex
Qualified: 17th 70.288 114.626 mph
"It's been a difficult weekend. We haven't been able to find the right balance for the conditions and get better grip on the front for even one lap. When you try to improve the front, even though it doesn't improve, it makes the rear worse and there is just no speed in the car. It 's going to be a struggle tomorrow because it is very hard to pass. We just haven't been able to get what we need from the car."
FAST FACTS: Is the only owner/driver in the current CART field ... will be making his 143rd career Champ Car start at Laguna Seca ... his best road/street course start in 2001 was second at Cleveland ... his best road/street course finish this year was third at Toronto and Elkhart Lake ... his best oval start in 2001 was third at Chicago ... best oval finish to date this season was fifth at Milwaukee ... recorded his last win at the 2000 Honda Indy 300 in Australia ...has seven career Champ Car wins ...finished second in the championship last season ... fifth most-winning driver in the current CART field.
#52 Avex/Alpine Honda/Reynard/Firestone:
Qualified: 20th 70.529 114.234 mph
"I had quite a lot of oversteer in the car during qualifying. We tried to fix the problem but we couldn't find a solution this session. We have a lack of grip on the front and back, and I am losing the rear a lot. It is very difficult to pass here so we need a good strategy for tomorrow."
FAST FACTS: Will be making his 35th career Champ Car start at Laguna Seca ... his best road/street course start in 2001 was ninth at Detroit ... his best road/street course finish this year was ninth in Toronto ... his best oval qualifying in 2001 was fifth at Texas ...best oval finish to date this season was eighth in Motegi ... is in his sophomore season of Champ Car competition with four top-10 finishes to his credit ...has the benefit of a teammate for the first time in his CART career ...hails from Formula One with 33 F1 starts and nine top-10 finishes in two years of competition.
"I think I knew this was going to be one of those road tracks where we struggled based on our performances at Portland, Mid-Ohio and Elkhart. Basically it's the same tire as Portland and Mid-Ohio, and we haven't found the combination for it. It goes all the way back to winter testing when we didn't have the opportunity to run on a road course. We opted for oval and street course testing. We thought we could put a combination to it by now, but obviously we haven't. Starting in the lower positions as we are, it will give us an opportunity to do different things. Right now we are hoping for some early yellows. It is difficult to pass here at Laguna so strategy and good reliability will be the key for tomorrow. Remembering that Adrian came from the last row at Elkhart to finish on the podium, I'm still very optimistic about tomorrow."