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Lowe's Fernandez Racing Takes Long Beach Class Win

Lowe’s Fernandez Racing finally made it to the top step of the podium at Long Beach claiming a class win and third-place overall result in the Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach.

It was not an easy run for Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz aboard the #15 Lowe’s Acura ARX. The pair started third on the grid but dropped to fifth overall and second in class at the start of the 100-minute sprint race.

Diaz, who handled initial driving duties, battled constant traffic in an effort to catch up to the #16 Dyson Mazda. Diaz claimed the lead for the first time on Lap 40 when Guy Smith in the #16 car made his pit stop. He pitted five laps later to turn the controls over to Fernandez, and quick pit work by the Lowe’s team – at a critical point in the race – allowed Fernandez to return to the track just ahead of the Dyson Mazda. Fernandez was running a strong pace and had managed to build a gap to the second-place P2 car, but that lead was quickly reduced when contact between two GT2 cars blocked the track directly in front of him. Fernandez was able to avoid the incident, and bring home the third class win of the season for Lowe’s Fernandez Racing.

The team will head to Salt Lake City next for the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix on May 17.

Race Results (Overall):
1.  de Ferran/Pagenaud – LMP1 Acura ARX 02a
2.  Brabham/Sharp – LMP1 Acura ARX 02a
3.  Fernandez/Diaz – LMP2 Lowe’s Acura ARX-01b

Adrian Fernandez: “We knew we were going to lose the lead at the start because we were slower on the straight. Luis drove a fantastic race at the beginning and was saving fuel and that gave us some extra laps at the end to be able to take the lead. From there on, I was pushing really hard. After my pit stop, I was fighting for position with one of the Mazdas on cold tires. The car was really good and that was really the key moment of the race.”

Luis Diaz:  “I am very happy. The team did the right thing again. We knew the Mazdas were going to be good at the start and, unfortunately, they beat me but I tried to stay close. I did exactly what the team asked me to do and I didn’t make any mistakes. The guys did a great job in the pits and Adrian did a great job in avoiding a very close call with the GT2 accident to finish the job. We are on a roll and I think we should be even stronger in the upcoming races.”


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