Lowe's Fernandez Racing Lines Up Seventh at Mosport Weather brought an interesting twist to the first official on track day for the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) at Mosport International Raceway with both wet and dry practice sessions and a...
Lowe's Fernandez Racing Lines Up Seventh at Mosport
Weather brought an interesting twist to the first official on track day for the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) at Mosport International Raceway with both wet and dry practice sessions and a dry but overcast qualifying run for Sunday's Mobil 1 Presents Grand Prix of Mosport. Lowe's Fernandez Racing drivers Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz will start from seventh position on the grid (fifth in class) following a lap time set by Diaz this afternoon. Bryan Herta was the fastest of the Acura contingent with a best lap time of 1:06.249. He will start fifth overall and third in class.
This will be the first career starts at the ultra-fast track for both Fernandez and Diaz. The pair were solidly on pace during the two promoter test days held earlier in the week under cooler conditions. Unfortunately, the team missed the majority of an 85-minute promoter test session yesterday afternoon when an off by Fernandez early in the outing resulted in extensive bodywork damage to the #15 Lowe's Acura Lola which the team was able to repair last evening.
Sunday's 2-hour 45-minute race will begin at 3:00 pm EST and will be carried live by the SPEED Channel. The race will re-air on Tuesday, August 28, at 12:00 pm EST on SPEED.
Adrian Fernandez, #15 Lowe's Acura Lola:
"We had two good days of testing on Monday and Tuesday. The Acura cars were very close to each other and the Porsches were probably half a second quicker. The conditions were very cold then so when we came here on Friday, the conditions had changed drastically. It was 20 degrees hotter and, because it had been raining quite a lot, the conditions of the track changed and there was less rubber down. When I went out for my first run, we had full tanks and a few things happened going into Turn 9 where I lost it and had an off. I hit pretty hard. I haven't hit that hard in awhile. Fortunately, there wasn't much damage to the actual structure of the car, to the chassis or suspension. It was just bodywork damage. It surprised me how quickly I lost the rear without any warning. The last two corners (Turns 9 and 10) are where we have been struggling the last two test days to try to get some speed. We were losing four to five-tenths of a second there. That wouldn't have given us the pole but at least we would have been fighting for another two positions.
"Besides that, it just proves again that the Lola is a difficult chassis in terms of weather and track condition changes. You have to keep chasing it a lot and it has a very narrow window of sweetness where the car likes to work. That has been the case at most of the tracks that are not smooth. When the track is smooth, you can run the car low and you don't have that much of a problem. Tracks like this are not as smooth as we would like to run the car low and when the weather changes, it really makes a big impact on the car. It has been a fight all through the year in that respect and it is something that we need some more help from the car to be closer to the Porsches. But we are not stopping. We still think that we can have a very good race tomorrow and fight for a podium finish."
Luis Diaz, #15 Lowe's Acura Lola:
"The car wasn't in the best shape of the week in qualifying for sure. I had too much understeer. We struggled with the weather condition change from the test until now, and we need to adjust the car a little bit more for the race conditions tomorrow. I would have loved to have been a little bit more to the front of the grid but I think the car should be good. The conditions are going to be better tomorrow and I'm confident that we can have a good race. The team has shown that we have been stronger in the races than in qualifying this year. We need to have a smart race as there will be a lot of traffic."