AdriÃ¡n FernÃ¡ndez, Owner/Driver -- ...
Adrián Fernández, Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:
Qualified: 13th 59.051 106.992 mph
"The car was better in qualifying today and that's important. I think we'll have a good race tomorrow. Obviously our qualifying position was a little disappointing, but I have started way back before and I don't think it is going to be a problem for us. The car feels more 'raceable' and I am happy about that. It is not as evil as it was this morning or yesterday. We'll work on getting a good, consistent race car for tomorrow and hopefully start passing some people."
FAST FACTS: Will be making 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 six of eight starts at Toronto ---best starting position at Toronto was third in 1996---only owner/driver in current Champ Car field---tied for fourth among active drivers in career wins with seven--- is ranked 10th in CART all-time career starts---currently sits 13th in the championship with 28 points---three of his seven Champ Car career wins were on road/street circuits -- Australia (2000), Mid-Ohio (1998) and Toronto (1996).
Shinji Nakano, Driver -- #52 Alpine/Mitsuba Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:
Qualified: 7th 58.554 107.900 mph
"My car was good but, again, I just couldn't get a clear lap. On my quickest lap I had traffic with another car that was slow and wouldn't give way. That lap was three-tenths faster at that point. The team and my engineer [Martin Paré of Quebec City, Canada] did a great job and found a good setup for this track. I am pretty happy with the car, but not happy with the results. I know tomorrow is another day and we have the chance to do something good tomorrow."
FAST FACTS: Will be making 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---has made 26 career road/street course starts, claiming seven points paying finishes and two top-10 finishes (Toronto 2001 and Houston 2000)--- posted career best road/street course finish of eighth at Houston (2000); best start was ninth at Detroit (2001)---is in his third season of Champ Car competition, and second year with Fernández Racing---currently sits 17th in the championship with 16 points.
Tom Anderson, Co-Owner/Managing Director:
"I am extremely pleased for Shinji. I think seventh is a good qualifying position. I had hoped for a little more but the traffic didn't help us on that last set of tires and a couple of things happened where he got blocked. You know that going in when you leave it to the last seven or eight minutes [of qualifying], so that was to be somewhat expected. I'm disappointed for Adrian and the #51 side today. Tomorrow is race day and there's no driver out here smarter than Adrian when it comes to a race situation. It's not over until the checkered flag falls tomorrow."
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