CHAMPCAR/CART: Patrick Racing Gold Coast Friday notes

SURFERS PARADISE, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA - FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2000 - Round 19 of the 2000 FedEx Championship Series - Adrian Fernandez qualified 15th and Roberto Moreno 19th on the provisional grid today for Sunday's Honda Indy 300, on the...

SURFERS PARADISE, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA - FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2000 - Round 19 of the 2000 FedEx Championship Series - Adrian Fernandez qualified 15th and Roberto Moreno 19th on the provisional grid today for Sunday's Honda Indy 300, on the temporary street circuit in Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia.

Fernandez , driving the #40 Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth, ended this morning's practice 21st. on the practice report with a fast time of 98.759 seconds (101.884 mph). During the session the team was unable to get much work in due to rainy, wet conditions and an electrical problem that robbed the engine of power. In provisional qualifying, Fernandez went out with the first or "slow" group based on his 16th place qualifying position at Houston. He made a big gain during the session picking up over four seconds with a quick time of 94.333 seconds (106.665 mph).

"Basically, the Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing team didn't learn anything this morning because of the bad weather (rain) and we had an electrical problem. In afternoon provisional qualifying, the Tecate/Quaker State/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth was good. We need to make a few adjustments to find the extra speed in the car, but overall the set-up we came here with wasn't bad. Unfortunately, we didn't get out of the "slow" group, but hopefully we can improve tomorrow and qualify up front."

Fernandez, who extended his streak of points paying finishes to 11 with a seventh place showing two weeks ago in Houston, is tied for fourth with Michael Andretti in the FedEx Championship Series standings with 127 points (Andretti holds the tie-breaker by virtue of more victories). The 35-year-old Mexican is just seven points out of second place and 26 points out of first. He has placed in the top-10 in nine of his last 11 races while compiling six top-six finishes in his last nine races with four top five showings and three podiums. Fernandez has tallied points in 15 of his last 16 starts. The Paradise Valley, Arizona resident has qualified in the top-10 in eight of 18 races and five of ten road/street circuits. This will be the seventh time Fernandez has raced on the streets of Surfers Paradise. In his six previous races his best qualifying position is fourth in 1994 and his best finish is third last year.

Moreno , driving the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth, ended this morning's practice 17th on the practice report with a fast time of 97.510 seconds (103.189 mph). In provisional qualifying, he was also able to improve his time in the drier conditions, but not as much as the other competitors. His fastest lap in qualifying was 94.992 seconds (105.925 mph).

"It was a disappointing provisional qualifying session for the Visteon/Patrick Racing team. We really needed to get out of the "slow" group to have a good chance to qualify up front and we didn't do that. We are missing on the set-up. We haven't got enough grip at the front of the Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth so it is difficult to get the car through the corners quick. We are going to have to sit down and figure out what changes we need to make to the car for final qualifying. Hopefully, we can find something to improve the set-up."

Moreno is third in the championship standings with 131 points. He is three points out of second place and 22 points out of first. The 41-year-old Brazilian, who has been among the points leaders all season, has finished in the top-10 in four of his last seven races and placed in the points six times. The Weston, Florida resident has qualified in the top-10 in nine of 18 races and five of ten street/road circuits. (Notes correction: Moreno has raced in Surfers Paradise one time previously, in 1996, qualifying 19th and finishing 12th)

Final qualifying for the Honda Indy 300 will begin at 1:45 pm (Australia time) tomorrow. The race will be run on Sunday, October 15 at 2:00 p.m. (Australia time). Check your local listing for broadcast time.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Adrian Fernandez , Roberto Moreno