Fernandez & Co. Take Second in LMP2 Class at Le Mans
Perseverance was the name of the game for the driving trio of Adrian Fernandez, Haruki Kurosawa and Robbie Kerr who battled back from mechanical problems to claim a second-place LMP2 class finish in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After placing the Barazi Epsilon-entered #33 Zytek 07S/2 sportscar sponsored by Lowe's on the LMP2 class pole, Fernandez and company resumed their front-running pace in the initial six hours, taking the class lead and running as high as eighth overall. It was just after the seven-hour mark that mechanical gremlins began to plague the team.
Over the course of the next 17 hours the team lost valuable track time with visits to the garage area to rectify brake system and fuel pressure problems and, late in the race, a right rear wheel bearing failure and engine sensor issue. They finished 16 laps down to the LMP2 class-winning Lola Zytek of Binnie Motorsports and were shown 27th overall.
Only 29 of 54 starters finished the grueling event. The overall race win went to the Audi Sport North America LMP1 team of Marco Werner, Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro.
Lowe's Fernandez Racing will return to racing action on July 7 with the Northeast Grand Prix from Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn.
Adrian Fernandez: "The whole experience has been just fantastic. In our first visit here to start on [the LMP2] pole and finish second is just tremendous and I have to thank Lowe's for giving us this opportunity. Everything we learned here is going to be extremely beneficial for the future. Unfortunately, we were not able to bring home the class win. We had a few mechanical problems that set us back, but most everybody had problems. Zytek did a very good job for us and they never gave up. The experience of Le Mans is completely different from anything else and, with the schedule the week of the race, it is definitely not easy on anyone -- the mechanics, drivers, everyone. I think I am going to sleep for 24 hours when I get home! To be a part of this event, with the atmosphere and the history, is truly special and I am definitely looking forward to coming back here."
Tom Anderson: "We have nicknamed this race the 'amazing race' after what goes on in the television show. Things certainly can happen here and you need a plan, a back-up plan and a back-up plan for your back-up plan because in 24 hours of racing here at Le Mans, things change in a hurry. The Zytek team did a fantastic job by not giving up in the face of adversity several times and the guys were able to carry it through the night. Fortunately the weather held during the night. The race started in the rain and ended in the rain but through the night it was clear and made the driving safe for all the participants. It was really a unique experience and something you can compare only to Le Mans -- not to anything else. It is a true experience within itself. We are very fortunate that Lowe's allowed us to do this and we thank them for that. We're looking forward to taking what we learned from here and applying it to the rest of our ALMS season and to the Lowe's Acura Lola."