CHAMPCAR/CART: Motegi: Fernandez Racing race report

Adrian Fernandez -- Started 14th, finished 7th "Basically it was just a very frustrating weekend. We had too many problems. We had problems with the weight-jacker so we couldn't run with it. We started the race and I had a problem with my plenum,...

Adrian Fernandez -- Started 14th, finished 7th
"Basically it was just a very frustrating weekend. We had too many problems. We had problems with the weight-jacker so we couldn't run with it. We started the race and I had a problem with my plenum, an explosion or something, so I had no power. That is why I started dropping so quickly. I lost two laps straight away. There was nothing I could do there. After that I had problems with my launch control coming out of the pits. I had to disconnect it and connect it again. After all that, the car was running well except on the restarts.

"The Bridgestone tires were very consistent as we proved all weekend. It's a shame we couldn't do it for Honda today, but we did our best and we just have to keep trying. It was a weekend where we encountered more than we expected and we just have to keep working on our problems and make it better for the next race. In all, it was a pretty clean race. I hope [Townsend] Bell is okay. That is the only crash I saw. I'm a little bit disappointed that we couldn't do what we've done twice here in Japan in the past, but I'm happy to get some points."

Shinji Nakano -- Started 18th, finished 10th
"It was a very tough weekend for us, but I want to thank the team. They had a difficult time and did a very good job. It was our first time racing on an oval in the Lola chassis and only the second year for Fernandez Racing, and everyone is still learning."

"It's sad that we had so many problems over the weekend, but at the same time the team is working very hard to find all the problems. I think the effort that the team put in for this race is going to give us good results for the rest of the season, fingers crossed. In the race, I had a problem with the weight-jacker. I got a big understeer and we had to adjust [tire] pressures a lot."

"With a full load of fuel, I had a lot of understeer when I was behind another car and that was the biggest problem. Once the fuel load got lighter, it was not a problem. And then we had the problem with the rear tire coming off. I felt something during the yellow and I asked the team to check the tire pressures. I thought I had a puncture or something. They said the tires were fine but I still had the same strange feeling. Then the left rear tire was gone. That was a scary moment."

"My car wasn't perfect today, but I think we learned a lot here in Japan. We were sorry that we couldn't win here in Motegi, but I was glad to see the checkered flag because it was important for us to finish this race."

Tom Anderson, Co-owner/Managing Director:
"What a day! I knew there were going to be many variables as with all 500k races on the ovals. With the new rule about changing tires on pit stops, it really put a lot of pressure on Bridgestone to have a tire that we could use again and again. The tires were perfect and we were able to run one of the fronts on three different intervals."

"Many small problems with the chassis stopped us from having a more productive day. We had a rear wheel come loose on Shinji's car which, for sure, cost him three positions. Our weight-jacker system failed early in the weekend and therefore both Adrian and Shinji could not adjust the weight from the cockpit. All of the chassis adjustment had to be done by the race engineers, Don Halliday for Adrian and Martin Pare for Shinji, by adjusting tire pressure, and the team was able to adjust the front wings in the pit stops."

"We had points-paying finishes for both our drivers today and a safe race. We are all looking forward to our tests next month and completing all of the projects we have started on the new Lola chassis. I feel bad for Honda that we were not able to give them a win today. The crowd and the Motegi race track were fantastic, and made this a very enjoyable trip for all of us in CART."

-fernandez racing-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Shinji Nakano , Tom Anderson