Sebring: Fernandez Racing qualifying report

Lowe's Fernandez Racing to Start Eighth at Sebring Lowe's Fernandez Racing will make its American Le Mans Series debut from the eighth spot on the grid after qualifying this afternoon for the 55th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Adrian...

Lowe's Fernandez Racing to Start Eighth at Sebring

Lowe's Fernandez Racing will make its American Le Mans Series debut from the eighth spot on the grid after qualifying this afternoon for the 55th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Adrian Fernandez qualified the #15 Lowe's Acura Lola during the 25-minute session, posting a best lap of 1:48.417 (122.859 mph) which was sixth-fastest amongst the LMP2 class. Co-driver Luis Diaz will start the race with David Martinez assisting as a third driver during the event.

The team has been on track at the challenging 3.7-mile, 17-turn road course since Monday in preparation for the 12-hour endurance classic, which will also mark the debut of Acura in ALMS competition. Official practice began yesterday and three sessions remain before the green flag waves at 10:00 am EDT this Saturday.

Adrian Fernandez - #15 Lowe's Acura Lola: "Time-wise, we are not very happy. When we tested here, we were very fast and now we can't get close to those times. We started out the week with some diff [differential] issues and brake issues which we fixed and now the car is good through the corners, but we are losing speed on the straight. We don't know what we are missing on the setup but we can't repeat the times that we did here before. We have really been chasing the car since Day One. It is a little frustrating in that respect. I know speed is not that important in a 12-hour race but it would make a nice comfort zone to know you have a car capable to be able to fight for the win if you are in that position. Right now, we haven't found it. We are not giving up. This is part of the learning process. We have a very reliable car and we have a great team. If we do what we did in the Acura 12-hour [simulation] race and with a little bit of luck, I think we can win this thing. The car feels good. We just need to find what we are missing on the setup and make sure it gets to the end of the race.

"This is a fantastic series and I am very excited to drive this car with Luis and David. It is nice to see so many fans around the race track, and the atmosphere is great. We are happy to be here in the American Le Mans Series with Lowe's and Acura, and hope to be a part of this family for a long time."

Luis Diaz - #15 Lowe's Acura Lola: "It has been exciting for me to learn about this series and I feel that I am ready heading into our first race weekend. This series is really totally different than what I have been used to in terms of the rules, and passing traffic is totally different with the difference in speeds in each category. It is a very competitive series, but I like challenges so I am excited. Looking ahead to the race, qualifying is not that important. You need to be there with one hour to go. We know we have a strong car and that is the most important thing about this race -- to have a strong car. I know we are going to be there at the end. If we are smart and we race like we know, we are going to have a good result."

David Martinez - #15 Lowe's Acura Lola: "We have had a pretty good week despite a few ups and downs but it's good that the few problems we had happened during practice. We've really had a very reliable car all this week so we are looking forward to hopefully a problem-free and mistake-free race. I feel very comfortable in the car. I have only done about 20 laps so far this week but Adrian and Luis are doing a great job on the handling of the car and I feel quite comfortable at the speed I am running."

Tom Anderson, Co-Owner/Managing Director: "Qualifying is not critical for track position during an endurance event so obviously our total focus is on the race, and we feel we have a little bit more to gain with the chassis. Based on our 12-hour simulation race here and the changing track conditions during that race, we are looking for that compromise to where we are reasonably good in all conditions. If we hit that mark close, I think we will have a good result. The Lowe's Acura Lola has been quite reliable in winter testing and during our simulation race. The mechanics are doing a great job. If we keep doing what we have been doing and with a few gains, I think we will have a great result come Saturday night."

-credit: fr

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Luis Diaz , Tom Anderson , David Martinez