Fernandez Claims LMP2 Class Pole at Le Mans The driving trio of Adrian Fernandez, Haruki Kurosawa and Robbie Kerr has placed the Barazi Epsilon-entered ...
Fernandez Claims LMP2 Class Pole at Le Mans
The driving trio of Adrian Fernandez, Haruki Kurosawa and Robbie Kerr has placed the Barazi Epsilon-entered #33 Zytek 07S/2 sportscar sponsored by Lowe's on pole in the LMP2 class field for this Saturday's 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 75th running of the world's most famous endurance race. Fernandez, who claimed the fastest LMP2 time in pre-race testing, continued his front-running pace with his lap of 3:44.158 set yesterday securing pole position for the squad. The team will start 15th overall.
As forecast, rain was a major factor in the second qualifying sessions held today. The start of the first two-hour outing [7:00 pm - 9:00 pm local time], delayed by 30 minutes due to oil on the track from Le Mans Legends practice, was immediately declared a wet session with cars running on full wet tires. The #33 team cycled through its driving stable with Kurosawa, Kerr and lastly Fernandez receiving track time prior to the break. At the end of the session, Fernandez claimed the quickest LMP2 time with a lap of 4:18.095 -- a full two seconds clear of the next LMP2 class car -- and was shown eighth fastest overall.
Tricky and, at times, treacherous conditions continued in the final two-hour session [10:00 pm - 12:00 pm local time] with visibility in the dark made all the more challenging as drivers battled the spray from other cars. By the end of the first hour, Kerr had set the quickest LMP2 time with a lap of 4:14:326 -- good enough for seventh-fastest overall. Fernandez concluded the second qualifying practice session for the team, producing a best lap of 4:11.296 to once again top the LMP2 charts. None of the 54 cars on track today were able to break the four-minute mark due to track conditions. As a result, the grid for Saturday's race was set based on times from yesterday. In LMP1, Team Peugeot will start on pole with drivers Pedro Lamy, Stephane Sarrazin and Sebastien Bourdais.
Adrian Fernandez: "I honestly didn't dream about being, as a team, on the pole my first time here. Everybody at Zytek has worked tremendously well and has given us a great car and great support. Haruki, Robbie and I are working very well together and that's key for everybody. This is about a team effort. In that respect we have done very well and I am very happy because I didn't expect it to be this good. I love the track. Conditions have been very, very difficult because of the rain. Apparently, that is how it is going to be for the race so it is good that we went through all these things. When we saw that the weather was not going to be that good today and that our time would not be beaten, basically we just went and tried things that we needed to try and went through our checklist to make sure we have everything covered for the race. Every time one of us was driving, we were the fastest. I think we have a very good team and it is up to us to make sure we don't make any mistakes to get to the end.
"The experience of Le Mans has been fantastic. Everyone has been great. The fans are so receptive and they bring so many pictures from the old days. It has just been very pleasant to be here and the experience that we are achieving is fantastic. I am glad that we came and I'm happy for Lowe's who gave us the opportunity to come here. I have to thank everybody at Zytek led by Trevor Foster. They have done a very good job for us."