CHAMPCAR/CART: Surfers Paradise: Fernandez Racing Saturday report

Adrián Fernández, Owner/Driver -- ...

Adrián Fernández, Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:

Qualified: 10th     1:31.351 = 110.147 mph

"We slipped back in qualifying today. The car was pretty good in this morning's practice session but for some reason we couldn't get the balance of the car for the conditions. The track had more grip and we just couldn't find the speed this afternoon. Shinji did well, but still we lost some of the positions that we were expecting to gain. I think we have a good car for the race and every time you start in the top 10, it is a good thing."

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: 7th     1:30.936 110.649 mph

"I had a problem with traffic on my second run. On the first run, I didn't have any traffic and put in a good lap. I think everybody had a problem with the traffic at some point. On my second run, I was behind another car and I couldn't attack at all. We had the car to go faster than the time we did and we have a good race car. Tomorrow will be hot again, and you have to save the tires and be consistent. It is very easy to make a mistake at this track. I think it is going to be a good race."

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 Fernández Racing-- currently sits 16th in the championship with 43 points.

Tom Anderson, Co-Owner/Managing Director:

"I was planning yesterday to go forward but unfortunately we went back a few spots. Adrian's side was a little off the mark this afternoon. They needed to find a little bit more grip than they ended up with today. Adrian didn't have quite as much grip and over-extended himself a few times, using the run-offs which scratched a couple of laps. All in all, a competitive package for the weekend for Adrian and, being the racer that he is, I know he can get to the podium tomorrow if the situation presents itself.

"Shinji had a tremendous run. He was P3 on his first set of tires. On the second set, we put him out with a gap [in traffic] but the gap closed up. Through the five timed laps that he was able to use on that last run, he never got a clean shot. He was held up the whole way. It was just unfortunate. He tried to slow down several times to give himself enough room but we had him trapped in traffic. It just wasn't our day for a better result."

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