Lowe's Fernandez Racing on Front Row in ALMS Season Finale The ...
Lowe's Fernandez Racing on Front Row in ALMS Season Finale
The #15 Lowe's Acura ARX-01b will start second in tomorrow's four-hour Monterey Sports Car Championships after a strong drive by Luis Diaz in qualifying this afternoon. This is the third front row start for Diaz and Adrian Fernandez this season [Long Beach and Salt Lake City] as the pair look to better their third-place result at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last year.
It was a nail-biting 20-minute session for the Lowe's Fernandez Racing team to set Saturday's grid. With seven minutes remaining in qualifying, Diaz crossed the start/finish line just as a red flag came out for the #37 LMP1 car of Jon Field. Subsequently, his best lap of 70.24 seconds -- good for second on the grid -- was rescinded. The track returned to green with just over five minutes left and Diaz managed a clear lap on his final tour to better his original lap with a 70.202. He missed the pole by .099 of a second and will line up alongside the #9 LMP2 of fellow Acura drivers David Brabham and Scott Sharp.
The day started on a high note for the team with Fernandez setting the third-quickest time overall in the one-hour morning practice session. Diaz handled driving duties in the second session and was an unrepresentative sixth-quickest overall due to traffic.
Adrian Fernandez, #15 Lowe's Acura ARX: "I am very happy. It didn't look good for awhile in qualifying because a red flag came out when Luis was on a good lap but he managed to equal that lap. I think Luis and I and the team worked well together to get the car sorted from yesterday. We found a few problems, put our heads together and made the right changes. Straight away the car felt good this morning. It felt quite racy and we ended up P3. It is good that we qualified second because it proves that the car is fast. It is a long race tomorrow and now we have to just focus on the race."
Luis Diaz, #15 Lowe's Acura ARX: "It was a good day for us. I am happy to have a car like this. The team did a great job today in giving me a really good car. It was fantastic even on older tires at the end of the session. I was very pleased and I am happy for David [Brabham]. He did a great job but I think our car was quicker than that. On the last run, the tires were not as clean so I think that is what cost us the pole. Adrian did a great job in setting up the car before my practice session and I think that was part of the good car I had. We also found a small problem we were having with the brakes and that will put us back in the fight again. The race is going to be tough but knowing you have a competitive car going in is great. I think the key tomorrow is for me to bring the car to Adrian complete and I know he will do the job. I am very confident. I was able to run close to the Penske's and I think our car is stronger here. If we have a clean race tomorrow, we will do well."