CHAMPCAR/CART: Vancouver: Fernandez Racing preview

Fernandez looking to change luck on Vancouver circuit Owner/Driver ready to rebound from 2002 accident This weekend's Molson Indy Vancouver marks the second of three stops in Canada this season for the Champ Car World Series. Champ Cars have ...

Fernandez looking to change luck on Vancouver circuit
Owner/Driver ready to rebound from 2002 accident

This weekend's Molson Indy Vancouver marks the second of three stops in Canada this season for the Champ Car World Series. Champ Cars have been powering through the streets of downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, since 1990, and the event has become one of the most popular destinations on the 19-race Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford tour.

The 1.781-mile temporary street course has posed its share of challenges to Adrian Fernandez. In eight Champ Car starts at Vancouver, Fernandez has seen the checkered flag only three times. Mechanical gremlins sent him to the sidelines in his first two starts at Vancouver, and contact has put him out of contention three times including 2001, when Fernandez was hit from behind after looking poised to back up his podium finish from the year before.

Last season proved even more dramatic when Fernandez was embroiled in a multi-car late-race accident. He sustained two hairline fractures in his left pelvis from the incident and missed the following event at Mid-Ohio.

Sunday's 100-lap race will be broadcast live on Fox Sports en Espanol at 4:00 pm ET and shown at 9:30 pm ET on Speed Channel.

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

Will be making his ninth Champ Car start at Vancouver

Was involved in a multi-car late-race crash at Vancouver last year, sustaining two hairline fractures in his left pelvis which sidelined him for the next event at Mid-Ohio

Claimed best result at Vancouver in 2000, finishing third

Best starting position was 10th in 2001

Currently sits seventh in the championship with 69 points

Claimed his first win as an owner/driver in Portland on June 22

"My accident in Vancouver last year was really the turning point for our 2002 season. I missed one race with the hairline fractures in my left pelvis caused by the crash, and then another three races after the Australia incident. This year I'm looking to Vancouver as being a turning point of a different sort -- the start to a strong run in the second half of the season. We've had two podiums so far [in 2003] and finally got our first win in Portland as Fernandez Racing. We are not out of the hunt in the points race, and we need to score good results starting with Vancouver. I always enjoy coming to this race. Like Toronto, it is a beautiful city and the fans are great."

FAST FACTS:

Will be making his171st Champ Car career start-- recorded six top-10 finishes in 10 rounds of 2003 competition to date -- second at Long Beach, fourth in Monterrey, Mexico, sixth in Milwaukee, seventh at Laguna Seca, first in Portland and ninth in Toronto-- has qualified seventh or better in all but three races to date [Germany, Cleveland, Toronto], claiming his best starting position of third in St. Petersburg and Portland-- has finished over 52 percent of his 53 Champ Car career street course starts in the top 10 and has eight street course podiums-- career best street course finishes were wins at Toronto in 1996 and Australia in 2000; career best street course start was second at Denver in 2002-- enters his 11th season of Champ Car competition with eight career wins and three pole positions-- 40 years old from Mexico City-- formed Fernandez Racing in the fall of 2000 with Tom Anderson-- only competing owner/driver in the series-- is the third most-winning driver in the current Champ Car field-- ranked 10th in CART all-time career starts-- has 21 Champ Car career podiums to his credit-- last win was at Portland on June 22-- last pole position was at Milwaukee in 2002.

Track Talk

The 12-turn temporary street course in downtown Vancouver is centered around the scenic False Creek waterway. Fernandez Racing Race Engineer David Watson estimates top speeds of 183 mph down the long back straight, and minimum cornering speeds of 55 mph. Drivers will shift 20 times per lap throughout the course of the 100-lap race, pulling a maximum G force load of 2.4.

The complex track provides many challenges as Watson notes: "Curbing can be a problem here, and the car needs to be solid through the right-hander onto the back straight. The circuit is bumpy so shocks are important. Traffic during qualifying can be an issue so you need to get up to speed quickly. After four races in a row where rain has threatened the show, I hope the weather will be boring and remain dry!"

Around Town

Adrian Fernandez will kick off his Molson Indy Vancouver week with an appearance at the Greg Moore Golf Classic at Swan-e-set Bay Resort and Country Club to benefit the Greg Moore Foundation on Wednesday, July 23. Fernandez will attend the Molson Indy Gala on Thursday evening at the Gotham Steakhouse and Cocktail Bar, and participate in the popular Drivers' VIP Party hosted by Paul Tracy at The Commodore Ballroom on Friday.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Paul Tracy , Tom Anderson , Greg Moore