Lowe's Fernandez Racing Heads to Utah After a three-week break in the schedule, the American Le Mans Series returns to racing action this weekend with the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix presented by the Grand & Little America Hotels.
Lowe's Fernandez Racing Heads to Utah
After a three-week break in the schedule, the American Le Mans Series returns to racing action this weekend with the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix presented by the Grand & Little America Hotels. The state-of-the-art Miller Motorsports Park facility, located 35 minutes southwest of Salt Lake City, will host Round Four of competition albeit with a new challenge for this year. Teams used to contesting the 4.5-mile, 24-turn permanent road course will turn their first official laps on the 3.048-mile, 15-turn perimeter circuit.
Lowe's Fernandez Racing drivers Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz had their first look at the new configuration during a test day on April 30. Both felt the super-fast track would become a favorite among drivers and fans, and was well-suited for the team's #15 Lowe's Acura ARX-01b chassis.
Fernandez and Diaz were strong out of the box at Utah last year, qualifying third overall. The duo were unable to capitalize on a strong run despite Diaz taking the LMP2 class lead in the early stages. Fernandez, who was running second in class, suffered from two incidents of on-track contact which knocked the pair out of podium contention.
FERNANDEZ ON THE NEW CONFIGURATION: "This is the fastest track we race on with the new configuration. It is very enjoyable for a driver because there are a lot of fast corners. You are pulling a lot of g's, and I think every driver had neck problems at the test. I feel very confident and hopefully this will be our weekend. We always say the same things, but we are strong and it is just a matter of putting all the things together and I think it can happen this weekend. This is a really nice race track. It is very smooth. It is very challenging for the drivers because of the high speeds and also because the apexes and exits of the corners are very bland and it is not very easy to see some of the exits of the corners. It is about reference, and knowing your way around is very, very important. I think we have a good car. We had a good test and I feel pretty confident.
"For me, my son was born this week and will be home on Wednesday [today] so I will have time to get everything organized there and I can leave with no pressures."
DIAZ ON THE CHALLENGES FOR THE WEEKEND: "This is one of the team's favorite tracks, and last year was a good showing for us. We have the challenge of a different course this year but the nicest corners of the track remain in this new configuration. For us, it was a matter of learning one new corner at our test. This new configuration is quite a bit quicker, and our car was good. During our test, it was very, very cold. It won't be like that for the race and that will be the main difference for us this weekend. I expect to have a lot less grip than in the test but we have a good car to start with on Friday. This is one of the tracks on the schedule that is very fast. It is a quick track like Sebring, so I am very confident this will be a good weekend for us. I like the fans a lot here in Utah. They have always been very supportive of the Lowe's team and I am looking forward to our first official podium of the year."