St. Pete: Fernandez Racing preview

Lowe's Fernandez Racing Ready to Challenge in St. Petersburg The Lowe's Fernandez Racing driving stable of Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz head to St. Petersburg, Fla., this week with a vengeance as the duo prepare for their second appearance in...

Lowe's Fernandez Racing Ready to Challenge in St. Petersburg

The Lowe's Fernandez Racing driving stable of Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz head to St. Petersburg, Fla., this week with a vengeance as the duo prepare for their second appearance in the Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg. Round Two of 2008 American Le Mans Series competition highlights a double-header of racing action this weekend as the sports cars share the circuit with the IndyCar Series, which will contest the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday.

The 1.8-mile, 14-turn waterfront temporary street circuit is as challenging as it is scenic. Last year, Fernandez and Diaz left no doubt as to their competitiveness on the tight and fast course from the start of on-track activities. Following an edge-of-the-seat lap in qualifying, Fernandez placed the #15 Lowe's Acura fourth overall on the starting grid. Race day saw the pair headed for their first win in ALMS competition but the tables turned with 50 minutes remaining after Diaz was controversially assessed a penalty for "avoidable contact" with a lapped car.

Fernandez and Diaz return to St. Petersburg with a score to settle not only from last year's race, but also from misfortune* in the recent season-opener at Sebring which disqualified a second-place overall podium finish.

*The #15 Lowe's Acura ARX-01b failed a "stall" test in post-race technical inspection.

FERNANDEZ ON THE RETURNING TO RACING ACTION: "I can assure you that we will be coming like a bull for St. Petersburg. We've put Sebring behind us but I will say that we were by far the best car on the track with consistency throughout that race and this has us very excited for the season. We know that we have a fast car and that we will be fighting for wins. I thoroughly enjoy the St. Petersburg circuit and it is such a great setting. Hopefully, the fans will enjoy what will be a flat-out sprint race. I am more than ready to get back to racing and show what this team is capable of this year."

DIAZ ON ST. PETERSBURG: "For me, the race last year was a heartbreaker. I was leading and running my race, and a car that was four laps down opened and then closed the door on me going into Turn One. The win slipped out of our hands because of the penalty. I am going to try to right it this year. I am really excited for this weekend with our new car. It felt fantastic in Sebring, and the whole team has a lot of momentum heading into Saturday."

-credit: fr

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Series ALMS
Drivers Adrian Fernandez