VIR: Fernandez Racing qualifying report

Lowe's Fernandez Racing 13th in VIR 400 Qualifying Race The No. 12 Lowe's Fernandez Racing Pontiac Riley will start 13th in Sunday's VIR 400 at Virginia International Raceway after this afternoon's first-ever 30-minute qualifying race for the...

Lowe's Fernandez Racing 13th in VIR 400 Qualifying Race

The No. 12 Lowe's Fernandez Racing Pontiac Riley will start 13th in Sunday's VIR 400 at Virginia International Raceway after this afternoon's first-ever 30-minute qualifying race for the Grand American Rolex Series' Daytona Prototypes.

Adrian Fernandez piloted the Lowe's Fernandez Racing machine in rainy and wet conditions that prevailed throughout this morning's 60-minute practice session and the 30-minute qualifying race. Today's practice times were to set the starting grid for the qualifying race, but the wet conditions this morning prompted series officials to grid the prototypes based on the latest points standings. Despite clocking the fifth-fastest lap in this morning's practice session, Fernandez had to start the qualifying race 15th -- where he and co-driver Mario Haberfeld stood in the points at the start of the day. Fernandez overcame extreme visibility problems at the start of the qualifying race, but settled in to pick up two positions during 11 laps of green-flag racing by the checkered flag.

Haberfeld will start Sunday's 2-hour, 45-minute race around the 3.27-mile VIR road circuit before handing the Lowe's car over to Fernandez for the mandatory driver change by race's end. Race time Sunday is 1 p.m. EDT with a live broadcast set for SPEED-TV. Cars will grid for Sunday's race based on this afternoon's finishing order.

Adrian Fernandez: "Once we got past our visibility problems, I think the Lowe's car showed it will be in good shape for the race tomorrow. Handling was not the problem today. It was really our first time racing in wet conditions and we definitely learned what we have to do to make our windshield wiper system better. I couldn't see anything at all during the first several laps. Once the cars got spread out on the track, everything was just fine. We even turned one of the fastest laps of the (qualifying) race. We had a good day of testing in the dry on Thursday. We were sixth-fastest overall. This morning we were fifth in the wet practice. Now we just have to put it all together and stay out of trouble tomorrow."

Mario Haberfeld -- "Our best laps here have not happened yet because we are limited to how many sets of tires we use all weekend, so we haven't really had much of a chance to run the car on new tires in dry conditions. Adrian turned some really good laps at the beginning (of testing) on Thursday, before we started working on other things. I wish we wouldn't have had to start so far back in the qualifying race. Our car is much better than that, but those are the breaks. We just need to hope we don't get caught up in any problems on the track at the beginning of the race on Sunday and I think we will be all right."

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Mario Haberfeld , Adrian Fernandez