Fernandez Makes Steady Gains in Motegi Opening Practice Adrian Fernandez posted the 14th quickest time of the day in opening practice for the Bridgestone Indy Japan 300. Fernandez is preparing to make his second IRL IndyCarÂ® Series career start...
Fernandez Makes Steady Gains in Motegi Opening Practice
Adrian Fernandez posted the 14th quickest time of the day in opening practice for the Bridgestone Indy Japan 300. Fernandez is preparing to make his second IRL IndyCar® Series career start this weekend. He made steady progress in the two 45-minute sessions held today, posting a best lap of 27.4134 seconds (199.610 mph) in the #5 Quaker State/Telmex/Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone machine.
Fernandez is a two-time winner on the 1.5-mile Twin Ring Motegi circuit, scoring back-to-back wins in 1998 and 1999 in CART competition. Fernandez last competed on the oval in 2002. In five career starts, he recorded his best qualifying position of second in 1998.
Adrian Fernandez, #5 Quaker State/Telmex/Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone:
"In general, we still have the basic problem we had in Phoenix which is a lot of push. We have been able to fix some of it but not completely. I definitely feel a lot more comfortable in the car with the new seat, but there is an area on the car that we are still missing in terms of the setup and need to find. We have one more day before the race, so hopefully that will make it better. We did a run on full tanks and the car felt pretty good. We still have a lot of things to try and hopefully tomorrow we will find more speed."
FAST FACTS: Will be making his second IRL IndyCar Series start-- qualified 13th for his IndyCar Series debut at Phoenix, but retired with a broken gearbox after taking the green flag-- has made five career starts at Motegi and recorded back-to-back wins in CART competition in 1998 and 1999-- best qualifying position at Motegi was second in 1998-- holds two additional career oval wins (Rio -- 2000 and Fontana -- 1999) and two pole positions (Milwaukee -- 2002, Michigan -- 1998)-- has made 65 career oval starts, posting 31 top-10 finishes and eight podiums-- 40 years old from Mexico City-- formed Fernandez Racing in the fall of 2000 with Tom Anderson.
Tom Anderson, Co-Owner/Managing Director:
"Adrian made good progress in the second session. The setup was a bit off in this morning's session, but they made some good gains this afternoon. We didn't show as well on the speed charts, but we did take the time to do some full tank runs and to get a good direction towards our race setup. We will put a new Honda engine in this evening and work more towards qualifying tomorrow morning. I look for a good qualifying result. Adrian loves running here at Motegi and I think it will show in qualifying."