AdriÃ¡n FernÃ¡ndez, Owner/Driver -- ...
Adrián Fernández, Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Reynard/Firestone:
"Our hearts are very heavy with the terrible tragedy that has happened in the United States, and our thoughts and prayers are with everyone. We have been continually watching the events here on television over the past few days, and our prayers are with everybody there. It was a difficult decision but today we ran our first on-track session. The fans have been so patient because the rain has been delaying everything for days. This afternoon, for the first time, they got to see the cars running here at EuroSpeedway and that was something really special. There was an amazing number of people here and it was nice that we could give them a little bit of an oval experience here in Europe, which they have never seen. The facility is unbelievable. It is first class, and we have been very welcomed by everybody. The government of Germany and everybody here has been taking care of us and really making us feel at home. With the situation in America, it is hard to focus on what we are trying to do here. What happened in the United States is very hard to swallow, and we are just trying to keep going."
FAST FACTS: Is the only owner/driver in the current CART field... will be making his 140th career Champ Car start in Germany ... his best oval start in 2001 was third at Chicago... best oval finish to date this season was fifth at Milwaukee... his best road/street course start in 2001 was second at Cleveland... his best road/street course finish this year was third at Toronto and Elkhart Lake... recorded his last win at the 2000 Honda Indy 300 in Australia...has seven career Champ Car wins...finished second in the championship last season... fifth most-winning driver in the current CART field.
#52 Avex/Alpine Honda/Reynard/Firestone:
"I can think of no words to say for what has happened in the United States. It is just so sad and I have no words. We are thinking about everyone there in this very difficult time. Here, it was good for the fans that we were able to run because they have been waiting since yesterday. It has been raining all the time, but the people have stayed and waited. The facility is very nice, and there were a lot of people that came out today."
FAST FACTS: Will be making his 32nd career Champ Car start in Germany... his best oval qualifying in 2001 was fifth at Texas...best oval finish to date this season was eighth in Motegi... his best road/street course start in 2001 was ninth at Detroit... his best road/street course finish this year was ninth in Toronto... is in his sophomore season of Champ Car competition with four top-10 finishes to his credit...has the benefit of a teammate for the first time in his CART career...hails from Formula One with 33 F1 starts and nine top-10 finishes in two years of competition.
"First of all our thoughts and prayers are with the people involved in the tragedies in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. It is a tremendously difficult time, and they are in our thoughts and prayers. Concerning today, from a Fernandez Racing standpoint, I was pleased with our performance. The whole team did a tremendous job to come to a new facility and run competitively. Today's crowd could have been the one of the largest Friday crowds that we've seen in CART history, and we certainly appreciate everything the German people have done for us here."