AdriÃ¡n FernÃ¡ndez, Owner/Driver -- ...
Adrián Fernández, Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:
Started: 13th Finished: 9th
"Basically we just struggled all weekend. We didn't have the car. At the beginning of the race, the car was very loose and I couldn't attack. It's strange for us here. We were defending instead of attacking. All in all, it was just a very difficult weekend. Shinji did well and I am happy for him ^Ö two good results in a row. Now we just have to work on our setup and find out exactly we what we like."
FAST FACTS: This is his ninth Champ Car appearance at Toronto and his 153rd Champ Car career start---recorded his first Champ Car career win at Toronto in 1996---has finished on the podium in Toronto the past two years --third in 2001, the first podium finish for Fernández Racing, and second in 2000 ---posted top-nine finishes in seven of nine starts at Toronto ---best starting position at Toronto was third in 1996---only owner/driver in current Champ Car field^Åtied for fourth among active drivers in career wins with seven--- is ranked 10th in CART all-time career starts---three of his seven Champ Car career wins were on road/street circuits ^Ö Australia (2000), Mid-Ohio (1998) and Toronto (1996).
Shinji Nakano, Driver -- #52 Alpine/Mitsuba Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:
Started: 7th Finished: 4th [Career best Champ Car finish]
"It was a good race for us. I would like to say thanks to the team for giving me a good car this weekend. They did perfect pit stops today and didn't make any mistakes. If I could have qualified in the top three or top four, I think I could have finished on the podium. I had a car to be on the podium. I want to also say thanks to Honda and Bridgestone. Bridgestone had an incredible tire here, and Honda's power allowed us to get the most out of the chassis and the tires. I am happier than Chicago [where Nakano finished fifth], so hopefully we can get there next time."
FAST FACTS: This is his third Champ Car appearance at Toronto and his 45th career Champ Car start---finished ninth last year after starting 26th following a crash in qualifying---started 21st in 2000 but retired with an electrical problem and was credited with 14th place---is in his third season of Champ Car competition, and second year with Fernández Racing.
Tom Anderson, Co-Owner/Managing Director:
"What can you say when its Shinji's career best finish? I think this proves that the #52 Alpine/Mitsuba Honda car is starting to move in the right direction and I'm really pleased for all the guys and Shinji as well. The momentum is building and they were able to carry on what we had in Chicago last week through a difficult weekend here on this demanding circuit. I'm really pleased and I think we have a full head of steam going into Cleveland next weekend.
"Adrian drove hard and I know the car was not quite to his liking today. I know he loves Toronto and ninth was not what he had in mind at the start of this morning. We ran all day and hopefully, as we gather this information, we will come to understand the Lola a little bit better. This has proved to be a little bit longer learning curve than what I had anticipated, but the guys we lost to today were second-year Lola teams so hopefully we are starting to cut the gap and will start challenging extra hard at Cleveland next weekend."