Lowe’s Fernandez Racing capped off the 2009 season with a class victory and second-place overall result in the Monterey Sports Car Championships Presented by Patrón this evening. This was the eighth class win for the team which ties the American Le Mans Series record for most LMP2 wins in a season that was set by Penske Racing in 2007.
In addition to previously earned driver and team championship honors and manufacturer’s titles for Acura, the team also took home its third Michelin® GREEN X® Challenge award this afternoon to clinch the season-ending standings.
It was smooth sailing for drivers Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz today as they held the P2 class lead for all but a handful of laps in the four-hour race. An exciting final 30 minutes saw Fernandez narrow the gap to overall leader Gil de Ferran – by then the only two drivers on the lead lap – and challenge the LMP1 Acura for the overall win.
In the end, de Ferran crossed the line to take a narrow victory over Fernandez with Scott Sharp finishing third to give Acura a one-two-three finish.
Today’s race will be broadcast on SPEED at 2:30 pm ET on Sunday.
Race Results (Overall):
1. de Ferran/Pagenaud – P1 Acura ARX 02a
2. Fernandez/Diaz – P2 Lowe’s Acura ARX-01b
3. Brabham/Sharp – P1 Acura ARX 02a
Adrian Fernandez: “I didn’t have enough for Gil [de Ferran] on the straights. We were fast in the corners and I tried everything I could. Gil is a very good driver. We battled for many years in the old days and today we just didn’t have enough. It was a fantastic battle and we almost made it. I have to thank Luis for being a great teammate, and this team. They are just tremendous. I am very proud of them. They gave me the nine best years of my career. We won in every single series we competed. We had a fantastic sponsor in Lowe’s and the support of Acura and Michelin. It has just been a great ride. I also have to thank my family for supporting me and giving me their support to come here every weekend.”
Luis Diaz: “I am very happy for the entire team. Everybody did a great job today and we were very close to the overall win. It was incredible to compete against a P1 car. Adrian drove great and I drove a good race also. I didn’t make any mistakes and I was quick when I had to be quick, and patient when I had to be patient. Overall, it was a great weekend for everyone. This was a great way to finish the season. Thanks to Lowe’s, Acura and Michelin who gave us the chance to achieve these championships. I want to say thanks to Adrian and Tom and the entire team for these great years. They gave me the chance to drive for them and it has been an incredible time for me.”
Tom Anderson: “The race came down to a fantastic finish tonight and I hope all the fans that braved the cool weather here enjoyed it as much as we did. The Lowe’s Acura car ran perfectly all night. It was a great job by Acura for the fuel mileage we were able to achieve tonight to put pressure on the #66 car of Gil de Ferran and it was strategy all the way for us that put us close to an overall win and a great win in the P2 category. A special thanks to everyone at Lowe’s, Acura and Michelin and the fans that supported all our great sponsors. It is the kind of race that we will remember for a long time.”