Lowe's Fernandez Racing Prepares for Challenges of Mosport Lowe's Fernandez Racing will head north of the border this week to Mosport International Raceway for Sunday's Mobil 1 Presents Grand Prix of Mosport. Located 60 miles east of Toronto in...
Lowe's Fernandez Racing Prepares for Challenges of Mosport
Lowe's Fernandez Racing will head north of the border this week to Mosport International Raceway for Sunday's Mobil 1 Presents Grand Prix of Mosport. Located 60 miles east of Toronto in Bowmanville, Canada, Mosport was the first purpose-built road course in Canada. It opened its doors in 1961 and has been hosting American Le Mans Series competition since 1999.
Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz made their first appearance at the historic circuit last year with both drivers acknowledging Mosport as one of the fastest tracks they had driven. It was an up-and-down weekend for the team's debut following a competitive pace in pre-race testing. A crash by Fernandez in a Friday test session resulted in extensive bodywork damage to the #15 Lowe's car and the team struggled with understeer in qualifying. Regrouping, Fernandez and Diaz showed well in the race, running third overall until 50 minutes to go when contact with a backmarker required a lengthy pit stop to remove a piece of bodywork which dropped the team a lap down.
Fernandez and Diaz will be looking to maintain their impressive pace from the last four races this weekend. The pair claimed their third second-place class starting position in the last race at Elkhart Lake and seemed headed for their fourth top-five and second podium finish of the season until a left-rear suspension failure halted their progress with 30 minutes remaining while running second overall.
Adding inspiration to the team's quest this weekend will be a 200-strong contingent of guests from Lowe's Canada, an associate sponsor of the Grand Prix of Mosport. Lowe's opened its first stores in Canada in December of 2007.
In support of this weekend's race, Fernandez, Diaz and the #15 Lowe's show car will make appearances at two Lowe's stores in the greater Toronto area this Thursday - in Hamilton from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm [1945 Barton Street East], and in Toronto from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm [1300 Castlefield Avenue]. The public can enter to win 20 pairs of tickets to the race, and 1,000 customers will receive free team hats at each location.
* Circuit -- 2.459-mile, 10-turn permanent road course
* Sunday's race will last two hours 45 minutes with a 3:05 pm EDT start
* A driver may not drive more than two hours total in the race
* Both Fernandez and Diaz will be making their second career starts a t Mospor t
* The pair qualified fifth in class (seventh overall) last year, finishing sixth in class and eighth overall following contact during the race
* Fernandez and Diaz appeared to be headed for a podium finish, and potential win, in the last race at Road America until suffering a suspension failure with 30 minutes remaining in the four-hour race
* Fernandez and Diaz have claimed three top-five finishes -- both in class and overall -- in the seven races held to date this season claiming their first podium finish of the year of third at Mid-Ohio
* Fernandez and Diaz are currently sixth in the LMP2 championship standings, 29 points out of third place
* Lowe's Fernandez Racing has claimed four podium results and nine top-five finishes since its ALMS debut last season
Adrian Fernandez, #15 Lowe's Acura ARX: "Mosport is a very fast track. It reminds me of an 'old days' race track. For a driver, it is a track where you have very little time to rest. You have the back straight and that's it. The rest is really, really fast so you have to keep your attention at all times because of the high speeds. It is not easy to pass but it is a challenging track because you are constantly in a high speed situation. I really enjoy it.
"I remember talking with Bryan Herta last year after I first drove it and we said 'Wow! This track is really fast.' We hadn't been to a track like this for a long, long time. It is a track that I think we will do well, which would be great with the large presence from Lowe's Canada. Last year we tested well but then we had a bit of a hiccup when I had my accident in practice. We have been competitive in the last few races and I don't expect any less here. Obviously, we were disappointed about what happened in Elkhart Lake [left rear suspension failure while running second in class], but that hasn't changed our intentions to win. I think we are one of the teams that is the most well-deserved to win at this point and, hopefully, things will go our way this Sunday."
Luis Diaz, #15 Lowe's Acura ARX: "Mosport is one of my favorite tracks for sure. Last year we had a strong run going with the Lola so definitely my expectations with the Acura are a lot higher knowing that the Acura is a very competitive car. We have shown ourselves very strong in the last races so I am confident that we will have a good race here, and we would especially love to give a good result to the Lowe's people in Canada. That would be great."