Lowe’s Fernandez Racing will start third in class and 11th overall in the Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda6 at Road Atlanta. Adrian Fernandez handled qualifying duties aboard the #15 Lowe’s Acura and teammate Luis Diaz will start Saturday’s 1,000 miles/10 hour endurance classic.
In addition to chasing their eighth class win of the season tomorrow, which would tie the ALMS LMP2 class record held by Penske Racing for wins in a season, Fernandez and Diaz will be vying for three more titles. By reaching the 70 percent race distance mark, the pair would secure team championship honors for Lowe’s Fernandez Racing and engine and chassis manufacturer’s titles for Acura.
An added incentive for completing as many miles as possible comes from the ‘Racing for Relief’ initiative orchestrated by Lowe’s. In response to recent flooding in the Atlanta area, Lowe’s will donate $15 for every mile of the scheduled 1,000 miles that the
#15 Lowe’s Acura completes to the American Red Cross relief efforts for the flood-affected areas. If Fernandez and Diaz bring home a class win, Lowe’s will donate an additional $15,000. The above is in addition to Lowe’s $250,000 donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Lowe’s stores in Georgia are also serving as official cash donation sites for the American Red Cross.
Saturday’s race will begin at 11:15 am ET with flag-to-flag coverage provided by SPEED and SPEED Latin America starting at 11:00 am ET.
Qualifying Results Overall:
1. Minassian/Lamy – LMP1 Peugeot 9081:06.937 = 136.606 mph
2. Sarrazin/Montagny – LMP1 Peugeot 9081:07:160 = 136.152 mph
3. Capello/McNish – LMP1 Audi R15/TDI1:08.200 = 134.076 mph
11. Fernandez/Diaz – LMP2 Lowe’s Acura1:11.758 = 127.438 mph
Adrian Fernandez: “We were really no match for the Mazdas in qualifying, but I think we will have the advantage in the race. We have only been focusing on the race. We dedicated the hour practice before qualifying to check some aero things for the race, preparing in case it rains and all those different scenarios. To be honest, the car didn’t have much more than we showed in qualifying. Even if we had the best balance, we were probably looking at only going about three-tenths [of a second] quicker. We always get passed on the straights any way so it was going to be difficult to be on the pole. When I saw Marino’s [Franchitti] time, I just came in. There was no point in wasting the tires. Tomorrow is going to be a long day and I think we are looking good for the race.”
Luis Diaz: “We have a good car and I don’t think qualifying reflects what is going to happen in the race tomorrow. We are expecting a very difficult race. You have to respect this track a lot because it is very, very demanding on not only the car but the driver, and then there is the traffic. We have to be extra careful in the race tomorrow and I know if we finish, we will have a good result.”