CHAMPCAR/CART: Surfers Paradise: Fernandez Racing Friday report

Fernandez fourth fastest on the streets of Surfers Paradise Adrian Fernandez posted the fourth quickest time in provisional qualifying this afternoon for the Lexmark Indy 300 in Surfers Paradise, Australia. Fernandez made a strong start in ...

Fernandez fourth fastest on the streets of Surfers Paradise

Adrian Fernandez posted the fourth quickest time in provisional qualifying this afternoon for the Lexmark Indy 300 in Surfers Paradise, Australia. Fernandez made a strong start in opening activities on the 2.795-mile temporary street circuit, nailing the top spot on the time charts overall after the two morning practice sessions. Weather conditions changed considerably for qualifying with cooler temperatures alongside overcast and windy conditions.

The Lexmark Indy 300, Round 18 of the 19-race 2003 Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, will be broadcast live on Speed Channel and Fox Sports en Espanol beginning at 12:30 am ET this Sunday.

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

"We were very strong this morning. The conditions changed a lot for this afternoon. We were fast but we were not as strong as we were this morning. I think P4 is a good start and I think we can improve. It was windy [this afternoon] and there was a lot of sand on the track, so the first few laps out were pretty tricky. In general, the car felt much better at the end. We just have to improve it from there and we are not too far off. If we can make some of the little changes that we made in the earlier stages, I think we will be in good shape."

FAST FACTS:

Will be making his 178th Champ Car career start and his eight start at Surfers Paradise-- is the 2000 race winner-- recorded an additional podium at Surfers Paradise in 1999, finishing third-- was involved in a multi-car incident at the start of the race last year and was sidelined for the remainder of the season, missing two races due to compression fractures of the T2 and T3 vertebrae-- best qualifying effort at Surfers Paradise was fourth in 1994-- currently sits eighth in the championship with 104 points-- recorded 11 top-10 finishes in 18 rounds of 2003 competition to date-- has qualified seventh or better in nine races to date, claiming his best starting position of pole position at Miami-- is in his 11th season of Champ Car competition and holds eight career wins and four 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 ninth 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 Miami on September 28.

Gustavo del Campo, Team Manager:

"We ended the first day in fourth position. We have a very strong car but there was traffic during qualifying and the temperature was a lot cooler so we needed more laps [to get up to speed]. I think we are headed in the right direction to finish well on Sunday."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Tom Anderson