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Lowe's Fernandez Racing Captures Class Pole Position at Mild-Ohio

Luis Diaz let out a sigh of relief at the conclusion of qualifying this afternoon for the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The battle for the LMP2 class pole came down to the wire with Diaz edging out the #16 Dyson Mazda by .034 seconds to claim his third pole position of the season and the sixth for Lowe’s Fernandez Racing. The team will start third overall for tomorrow’s race.

Diaz and Adrian Fernandez were, once again, on pace from the start of weekend activities aboard the #15 Lowe’s Acura on Michelin tires, topping their class standings in two of three sessions leading up to qualifying. The pair have seized podium finishes of third the last two years in ALMS competition at Mid-Ohio and, with a strong contingent on hand from Acura and Honda this weekend, will be hoping to lay claim to their fifth win of the season.

Tomorrow’s 2-hour 45-minute race will be broadcast by NBC on Sunday beginning at 2:30 pm ET.

Qualifying Results Overall:
1.  de Ferran/Pagenaud – LMP1 Acura ARX 02a69.443 = 117.057 mph
2.  Brabham/Sharp – LMP1 Acura ARX 02a69.512 = 116.941 mph
3.  Fernandez/Diaz – LMP2 Lowe’s Acura ARX-01b70.464 = 115.361 mph

Luis Diaz:  “I am very happy. This is a very important weekend for Acura and Honda and for us as a team and, obviously, it is nice to get the pole for Lowe’s as well. It was very tight in qualifying. I knew the Mazdas were going to push us to the limit. I am happy that we have the Porsche here as well. As a team, we like the challenge. We have to focus on the race now. It is going to be a tough race but, looking at the big picture, I think we have a chance for a good result tomorrow.”

Adrian Fernandez: “It has been a good two days overall. Qualifying was very tight and we knew it was going to be difficult. Luis did a very good job. I may sound repetitive, but the team just needs to keep doing what we have been doing. There is nothing we can do about our top speed compared to the other cars. We know the facts and we just have to do the best we can on the track. We have improved our car, and the engineers and both of us as drivers have worked really well on getting the best out of the car. The race will depend on how many positions we lose at the start because it is a fact that we are going to lose positions. I just hope that it isn’t too many because there are some cars that are slower than us but very fast on the straights and that really is something that we need to try to avoid. We don’t want to lose contact. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a clean race and some of those guys can give us a break and we can have a clean fight with the Mazdas. Obviously, we also have the Porsche with Greg Pickett and Klaus Graf. Klaus did an excellent job in qualifying and they are quite competitive. It should be a good show tomorrow.”


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