CHAMPCAR/CART: Motegi: Fernandez Racing Thursday practice report

Fernandez Racing Thursday Practice CART FedEx Championship Series -- Round Three Bridgestone Potenza 500 Twin Ring Motegi -- Motegi, Japan -- April 25-27 Broadcast: Saturday, April 27th -- SPEED Channel 12:30 pm EST Circuit: 1.548-mile oval Race:...

Fernandez Racing Thursday Practice
CART FedEx Championship Series -- Round Three
Bridgestone Potenza 500
Twin Ring Motegi -- Motegi, Japan -- April 25-27
Broadcast: Saturday, April 27th -- SPEED Channel 12:30 pm EST
Circuit: 1.548-mile oval
Race: 201 laps/311.148 miles

Adrian Fernandez, Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:

Morning Session: 26th 27.352 203.744 mph
Afternoon Session: 13th 26.371 211.323 mph

"We had a lot of problems this morning with a mechanical situation that we found on the car. We had the same problem in my two cars and Shinji's. We made some changes for the afternoon and the car is a lot better. We are now within striking distance of the fastest times where before we were a second off. We made huge gains and I'm happy about that. I think we will be in better shape tomorrow."

FAST FACTS: Will be making his fifth Champ Car start at Motegi--only two-time winner, scoring back-to-back wins at the inaugural race in 1998 and in 1999-- best starting position at Motegi was second in 1998--started ninth last year, but retired with an electrical problem on Lap 148 and was credited with 16th place--only owner/driver in current Champ Car field--tied for fourth among active drivers in career wins with seven-- will be making his 148th career Champ Car start-- tied for 12th in CART career starts-- currently sits 15th in the championship-- has recorded points-paying finishes in over half of his 58 career oval starts-- four of his seven Champ Car career wins were on ovals -- Japan (1998/1999), Rio (2000) and Fontana (1999).

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

Morning Session: 24th 27.109 205.570 mph
Afternoon Session: 19th 26.859 207.484 mph

"This was our second time on an oval track this year, and we are still looking for a good setup to be quick. I had a lot of understeer this morning and we couldn't improve the problem this afternoon. We need to look at the data carefully tonight and work on a better setup for tomorrow."

FAST FACTS: Will be making his third Champ Car start at Motegi -- matched career-best finish of eighth at Motegi last year after starting 13th --will be making his 40th career Champ Car start-- is in his third season of Champ Car competition, and second year with Fernandez Racing-- currently sits 17th in the championship-- has 15 career oval starts, recording two top-10 oval finishes at Japan (2001) and Homestead (2000).

Tom Anderson, Co-owner/Managing Director:

"We were a little off the pace this morning. We had some systems moving around on the car that didn't really give the engineers and the drivers a direct relationship on where they were with their cross-weight. We were able to get that rectified for the afternoon session. Don [Halliday] made some changes with Adrian's car and found some time. We tried some other mechanical changes with Shinji, and didn't free the car up as much as we should have. With transferring the changes that Don made to Shinji's car plus fresh engines for tomorrow, I think we will be right there. You've got sixteen cars within a half of a second and the whole grid within nine-tenths of a second right now, so any one of these guys can win this race."

For more information, please visit www.fernandezracing.net and our media photo resource site at www.fernandezracing.net/media. For additional information on the CART FedEx Championship Series, please visit www.cart.com.

-fr-

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