CHAMPCAR/CART: Mexico City: Fernandez Racing Friday qualifying report

Luis Diaz, Driver -- ...

Luis Diaz, Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:

Qualified: 17th 1:27.992 113.983 mph

"It was my first day in a Champ Car at a race weekend, and I feel that I have been progressing a lot through the day. I still have to work more on my braking points, and I have to work more on pit stops because this is new for me. I think tomorrow is going to be a good day. I think I can improve a lot from today to tomorrow, and I hope to be in the top 10 tomorrow and work for the race."

FAST FACTS: Will be making his first Champ Car career start ... finished fourth in the 2002 Toyota Atlantic Championship, claiming two wins (Portland and Road America) and two pole positions ... former Formula Mexico champion (1998) and Mexican Formula 3 Rookie of the Year (1997) ... began his career in go-karts at the age of 12 ... 24 years old from Mexico City.

Shinji Nakano, Driver -- #52 Alpine/Mitsuba Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:

Qualified: 11th 1:27.245 114.959 mph

"I had a problem with the car this morning. We made some changes and the car was better for qualifying. We need a little bit more time. We changed a few things in qualifying and tried a few new things, and I think tomorrow will be much better. The track is really good, apart from Turn 12 where it is a little bit bumpy. I am really enjoying driving on this track. For tomorrow, we just have to try to find a better setup."

FAST FACTS: Will be making his 56th career Champ Car start ... best road/street-course start this season was third at Denver ... best road/street-course finish this season was fourth at Toronto ... is in his third season of Champ Car competition, and second year with Fernández Racing ... currently sits 16th in the championship with 43 points.

Adrián Fernández, Owner/Driver - Fernández Racing:

"This was a lot of work for Luis in one day - a lot of things to learn and a lot of things to go through. I think he did a very good job. On his last run in qualifying, he was held up in traffic and lost about three-tenths. He is getting better every time and he is getting more confident. As he gets more confident, he will be able to focus more on what he is trying to do with the race car. Right now his agenda is very full and it is just step by step. I think he will feel more comfortable tomorrow. He will have a good sleep tonight and think about things. We still have tomorrow, and he has done very well today. We are going to see what Shinji has been doing, compare notes and get Luis to the next level."

Tom Anderson, Owner/Managing Director - Fernández Racing:

"I am very pleased to be here in Mexico City. This is a tremendous facility, and we are looking forward to an outstanding race weekend here. As far as today goes, I was very impressed with Luis' run. He had a lot of pressure and a lot of new things to get used to today. He has only had one test day and there are many things that happen at a race weekend that you cannot experience at a test. It is all new for him and with his new driving coach, Adrián Fernández, it is quite an undertaking for the young man and I am sure he is going to do quite well.

"Shinji's side was off the mark this morning in terms of setup. They got a lot closer in qualifying and, had I guessed the rain a little bit better, we probably wouldn't have gone out as early on the second set of tires as we got blocked on that run. I think we could have been better than 11th, but he has a pretty good platform to build on tomorrow and I think that will also give Luis some good information to read for tomorrow. I looked for improved results on Saturday."

-fr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Shinji Nakano , Luis Diaz , Tom Anderson