IRL: Phoenix: Adrian Fernandez race report

Gearbox Problem Ends Day for Fernandez Adrian Fernandez's fast-paced learning curve in the IRL IndyCar® Series came to an early end today with a gearbox problem in the Indy 200 Copper World Classic. Fernandez, who first drove the ...

Gearbox Problem Ends Day for Fernandez

Adrian Fernandez's fast-paced learning curve in the IRL IndyCar® Series came to an early end today with a gearbox problem in the Indy 200 Copper World Classic. Fernandez, who first drove the #5 Quaker State/Telmex/Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone on Friday, made a mistake while downshifting prior to the start which, in turn, broke the gearbox. The team immediately returned to the garage, but would have been unable to make the necessary repairs in time to return Fernandez to the race track.

Next up: The IRL IndyCar Series will head to Japan for the Indy Japan 300 on April 17.

Adrian Fernandez, #5 Quaker State/Telmex/Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone:

"Obviously, we are not happy about what happened but that's racing. This was a big part of not being familiar with the car. I made a mistake on the downshift prior to the start of the race. The throw [distance the shifter moves] is a lot longer than what I am used to, so when I went down the gears I actually didn't go down the amount I should have. I stayed in the middle of the gearbox and that is really what broke the gearbox. I've never had to do that before because I always came into the pits; I never had to do that on the race track. It seems that you have to be a lot more positive with the gearbox when you are in very low revs, which was something I didn't know. It's just learning. Even though we didn't finish, I learned something which is positive, and I learned a lot of things through the weekend. We learned a lot of things to prepare better for Motegi. The guys did an amazing job and it was just unfortunate that we couldn't finish the race to at least get the miles."

FAST FACTS: This was his first IRL IndyCar Series start-- last competed on an oval in May of 2003, starting fifth and finishing sixth at Milwaukee-- holds four career oval wins (Rio -- 2000, Japan -- 1998/1999, Fontana -- 1999) and two pole positions (Milwaukee -- 2002, Michigan -- 1998)-- has made 64 oval starts, posting 31 top-10 finishes and eight podiums-- 40 years old from Mexico City-- formed Fernandez Racing in the fall of 2000 with Tom Anderson.

Tom Anderson, Co-Owner/Managing Director:

"As Adrian pointed out in his comments, basically what we completed today was our entire winter's test session in the new league in a matter of about seven days. Obviously, when you are under those types of time constraints, the outcomes are not always as you expect. Some things that would catch you out during winter testing caught us out today and unfortunately put us out of the race. We knew coming in that this was a test weekend. We knew we put the guys and Adrian under a tremendous amount of pressure, but decided it was the thing to do so that we are much better prepared going forward to Motegi and the Indianapolis 500. We'll take what it gave us today, and prepare for Motegi."

Gustavo del Campo, Team Manager:

"This was a short race for us but this is a learning weekend. It is not the end of the world; for us, this is the beginning and we will be back at Phoenix for a test on March 30. We have a ways to go, and will be working hard to catch up to these guys."

-fr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Tom Anderson