No driver entered in the Tequila Patr¢n American Le Mans Series at Long Beach can match Adrian Fernandez’s level of experience at North America’s most famous street circuit. Between 1992 and 2003, Fernandez was a staple at Long Beach in the open-wheel ranks and is making his mark again in sports cars and the American Le Mans Series.
Going the other way, the race has certainly made its mark with Fernandez over the years.
“You have to love this race with the fans and the atmosphere,” said Fernandez, who will drive with Luis Diaz in Lowe’s Fernandez Racing’s Acura ARX-01b. “The city is all about the race. I have been coming to Long Beach for so many years that it feels like a ‘home’ event for me. It is a challenging circuit especially with the limited amount of practice time. You need to roll out to pit lane with a good-handling race car. The race is always exciting with four classes of cars all battling for the same piece of real estate. This track doesn’t have much forgiveness if you put a foot wrong, and that’s what makes finishing well here so special.”
Fernandez made his first Long Beach start in 1992 as part of the Indy Lights championship. The following year he made the first of 11 straight Long Beach starts with CART; he finished second in 2003.
Fernandez returned to Long Beach in 2006 and made his first American Le Mans Series start the following year. He and Diaz have won the first two LMP2 rounds of 2009.
The race is set for 4:15 p.m. PT on Saturday, April 18 from the famed Long Beach street circuit in southern California. The race will be televised from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 19 on ABC. Qualifying is scheduled for 4 p.m. PT on Friday, April 17. American Le Mans Radio and Live Timing and Scoring will be available at americanlemans.com. The race also will be aired on XM Channel 242 and Sirius Channel 126 from 7 to 9 p.m. ET on Saturday.
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