AdriÃ¡n FernÃ¡ndez, Owner/Driver -- ...
Adrián Fernández, Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex
Qualified: 6th 1:32.301 109.013 mph
"We had a good start today. The car was good this morning [Fernández was second fastest] and in qualifying. The times are very close and we are in the battle, which is good. This is my first time working with Dave [Watson, race engineer] and he is doing a great job. We are trying to keep things simple and basic and so far it is looking good."
FAST FACTS: Will be making his ninth Champ Car start on the streets of Surfers Paradise and his 161st Champ Car career start-- won the Honda Indy 300 in 2000, and also visited the podium in 1999 with a third-place finish-- best starting position at Surfers Paradise was fourth in 1994-- has finished over half (52%) of his 50 Champ Car career street course starts in the top 10-- posted his best street course result of the season at Denver, finishing fourth after qualifying second -- only owner/driver in current Champ Car field-- currently ranked sixth among active drivers in career wins with seven-- two of his seven Champ Car career wins were on street circuits - Australia (2000) and Toronto (1996)-- currently sits 14th in the championship with 59 points.
Shinji Nakano, Driver -- #52 Alpine/Mitsuba Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:
Qualified: 10th 1:32.663 108.587 mph
"We worked a lot on finding a good setup for qualifying and we made good progress, but we are little behind on the speed. The car is comfortable to drive but it is not fast enough. We need to find some more speed. My hands are okay and I didn't have any problems. [Nakano suffered first and second-degree burns resulting from a fuel fire in the Miami race on October 6.] The doctors in Indy and Japan did a really good job in helping my hands to heal quickly, and I want to say thanks."
FAST FACTS: Will be making his third Champ Car appearance in Surfers Paradise and his 54th career Champ Car start -- finished 12th in the Honda Indy 300 last year after starting 18th -- recorded career-best Champ Car performances at street course events this season, qualifying third at Denver and finishing fourth in Toronto-- has 16 Champ Car career street course starts to his credit, claiming seven points-paying finishes is in his third season of Champ Car competition, and second year with Fernandez Racing-- currently sits 16th in the championship with 43 points.
Tom Anderson, Co-Owner/Managing Director:
"Surfers Paradise obviously brings out the excitement and enthusiasm in the drivers judging by all the red flags today in qualifying. It was pretty hard to get your rhythm right when your progress was stopped throughout the session. It caught us out a couple of times, but we feel very competitive this weekend with both cars in the top 10 today. Adrian had a great run this morning so we started out on the right page today, and I'm very pleased with the progress so far. David Watson is already starting to make his mark and brings a lot of calmness to the #51 side, which is a positive thing. I'm looking forward to a good qualifying run tomorrow."
For more information, please visit www.fernandezracing.net. For additional information on the CART FedEx Championship Series, please visit www.cart.com.