Lowe's Fernandez Racing Qualifies Sixth in Detroit Adrian Fernandez qualified the ...
Lowe's Fernandez Racing Qualifies Sixth in Detroit
Adrian Fernandez qualified the #15 Lowe's Acura Lola sixth overall this afternoon for the inaugural American Le Mans Series race at Belle Isle -- the Detroit Sports Car Challenge Presented by Bosch. Fernandez and teammate Luis Diaz were on pace from the start of official track activities today, finishing fifth overall in the first practice session. The pair ended the second outing an unrepresentative eighth overall, and sixth in class, with Fernandez on a lap good enough for the top three in the closing stages but cut short by a red flag.
Fernandez will be making his 10th career start on the downtown Detroit temporary street circuit having contested nine open-wheel races (Indy Lights competition in 1992, where Fernandez won from the pole, and eight Champ Car starts from 1993 to 2001 with a best finish of second in 1998). Diaz has one prior start at Belle Isle, competing in the 2000 Indy Lights race.
Fernandez and Diaz currently sit 14 points shy of third place in the championship standings.
Adrian Fernandez, #15 Lowe's Acura Lola:
"I think we have a good car for the race. We expected to be a bit more balanced in qualifying, but the car had a little more push than this morning. Again, this has been a trend. We try to get the car as low as we possibly can but that is really where our limit is at the moment. Luis finished his run on older tires and he was putting up good times so we should be good for the race. The most important thing for the race tomorrow is to not hit anything and that is going to be hard. This is a very difficult track with four categories of cars out at the same time because the speed differences are quite significant. I think it could be an attrition race in that respect and Luis and I have to do everything possible to get to the end.
"The Penske organization has done a tremendous job in organizing this event. Everything is first class. The race track has been improved since the last time I drove here . The paddock and the fan access, and what they offer the fans, is pretty impressive."
Luis Diaz, #15 Lowe's Acura Lola:
"I am very happy to be back here, and I think they did a great job with the track. So far, the sessions have been very short because of the traffic and red flags and that makes it difficult to work on setting up the car. It has been tough but the team has made good calls on the chassis setup and we are getting closer every time. I felt pretty comfortable. I used the first session to relearn the track because it was a different configuration when I raced here. The second session, I had a couple of laps going very well but unfortunately I couldn't finish them because of traffic. This is a very tough track. You cannot make any mistakes here because it is going to cost big. I think we will have a good car for the race and we just need to be patient at the beginning and push hard at the end. The key for tomorrow is to stay out of trouble."