Vancouver race ends early for Fernandez. Adrian Fernandez had his run on the streets of Vancouver cut short this afternoon, retiring from the Molson Indy Vancouver on Lap 73 with a damaged oil cooler from earlier contact with Darren Manning.
Vancouver race ends early for Fernandez.
Adrian Fernandez had his run on the streets of Vancouver cut short this afternoon, retiring from the Molson Indy Vancouver on Lap 73 with a damaged oil cooler from earlier contact with Darren Manning. Fernandez, who started 14th, had worked his way up to fifth position just prior to pulling onto pit lane after leaking oil.
Adrian Fernandez, Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:
"The start was a little crazy but we managed to stay clear of the mess. We had great pit stops and made some passes on the track. Our pit strategy was working well. [Darren] Manning tried a banzai move on the back straight. He was quick and he would have passed me eventually. I didn't expect him to pass me there so quickly, so when I turned he hit me on the right sidepod and that is what probably damaged the oil cooler. Eventually I started smelling oil. The team said everything was looking good on the data but I smelled it and slowed the pace drastically. I didn't want to end up in the wall. It was just not worth it. We came into the pits and there was a huge amount of oil coming out of the car. It was a shame because even though we were struggling in the race, we could have held on."
FAST FACTS: This was his ninth Champ Car appearance at Vancouver and his 171st Champ Car career start ... claimed best result at Vancouver in 2000, finishing third ... best starting position was 10th in 2001 ... currently sits seventh in the championship with 69 points ... recorded six top-10 finishes in 10 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 three races to date [Germany, Cleveland, Toronto], claiming his best starting position of third in St. Petersburg and Portland ... has finished over 52 percent of his 53 Champ Car career street course starts in the top 10 and has eight street course podiums ... career best street course finishes were wins at Toronto in 1996 and Australia in 2000; career best street course start was second at Denver 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 Fernández 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:
"It was a very good effort today. The team presented a good car for the race. Adrian did a superb job to go from 14th to a solid fifth. In the meantime, we had contact with [Darren] Manning on the right side and we damaged the oil cooler. This is the reason we had to stop. It was a good effort today and I hope we have a better weekend next week in Elkhart."