CHAMPCAR/CART: Mid-Ohio: Fernandez Racing Friday report

Fernandez 12th in provisional qualifying Adrian Fernandez was unable to put in a representative time in provisional qualifying this afternoon for the Champ Car Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio. Fernandez, who felt he had a car capable of the top five, ...

Fernandez 12th in provisional qualifying

Adrian Fernandez was unable to put in a representative time in provisional qualifying this afternoon for the Champ Car Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio. Fernandez, who felt he had a car capable of the top five, was hindered from improving on his time due to an on-track incident involving another car towards the end of the session which eventually brought out a red flag.

Fernandez, who won at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 1998, will be looking to move up the time sheets tomorrow when final qualifying gets underway. Fernandez missed the Mid-Ohio race last year while recovering from injuries sustained at the Vancouver event. He has finished sixth or better each time he has taken the checkered flag on the 2.258-mile road course.

Adrian Fernandez, Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:

"The car feels pretty good. Unfortunately, we couldn't put in a good time on our second run. CART made the decision to throw a [local] yellow when Jimmy Vasser's car was off in the grass. The car was there for two laps when they called a red flag with one minute to go. That's usually when everybody puts in their fastest times. If you are going to have that situation, you should red flag it straightaway. Basically we never put in a good lap time, and we should be up there a lot farther than where we are right now because the car is pretty good."

FAST FACTS:

Will be making his eighth Champ Car start at Mid-Ohio and his 173rd Champ Car career start-- won the 1998 race at Mid-Ohio-- has finished sixth or better in five of seven starts at Mid-Ohio-- best starting position was fifth in 1998-- missed two races at Mid-Ohio due to injury (1999 and 2002)-- currently seventh in the championship standings with 71 points-- recorded six top-10 finishes in 12 rounds of 2003 competition to date -- second at Long Beach, fourth in Monterrey, Mexico, sixth in Milwaukee, seventh at Laguna Seca, first in Portland, and ninth in Toronto-- has qualified seventh or better in all but four races to date, claiming his best starting position of third in St. Petersburg and Portland-- has finished over 50 percent of his 54 Champ Car career road course starts in the top 10 and has five road course podiums-- career best road course finishes were wins at Portland in 2003 and Mid-Ohio in 1998; career best road course start was pole position at Monterrey, Mexico, in 2002-- enters his 11th season of Champ Car competition with eight career wins and three pole positions-- 40 years old from Mexico City-- formed Fernandez Racing in the fall of 2000 with Tom Anderson-- only competing owner/driver in the series-- is the third most-winning driver in the current Champ Car field-- ranked 10th in CART all-time career starts-- has 21 Champ Car career podiums to his credit-- last win was at Portland on June 22-- last pole position was at Milwaukee in 2002.

Gustavo del Campo, Team Manager:

"We qualified in 12th but we had some conditions which often happen in qualifying and didn't have a chance to put in a good lap. You could see on the monitor that Jimmy Vasser was off about four minutes before the checker. The red flag didn't come out right away. You lose the chance to make up positions but it was the same for everybody. The most important thing is that we have a good car for this weekend, and Adrian is happy with the car."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Adrian Fernandez , Tom Anderson