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Backmarker hits Lowe`s Fernandez.

Lowe's Fernandez Racing were another Acura team to endure a tough time at Road Atlanta after being forced to retire from the Petit Le Mans.

Adrian Fernandez, Luis Diaz and Michel Jourdain has been forced to start from the back in the #15 entry after deciding to change tyres on the car after a spin for Fernandez during Friday's qualifying session.

That didn't prevent Diaz from making light work of the GT cars at the start of the race and by lap seven, he had moved ahead of the GT2 and GT1 cars and was seventh overall when he pitted after two hours to hand the car over to Fernandez.

Despite struggling with the handling of the car, Fernandez ran as high as third before handing the car to Jourdain just after the four hour mark, and he ran at a consistent pace during his two hours to hand the car back to Diaz fifth in class and eighth overall.

However, with three hours remaining, Diaz was involved in contact with a GT2 Ferrari at turn three, and it was game over - with the team unable to repair the damage in time to continue.

“It was a very bad day for me,” he said. “I feel bad for all of the guys that worked hard to give us a competitive car today. I got together with a Ferrari. I made passes there before and nothing happened and it seemed to be very bad timing this time. I feel bad and I hope we have a better race in Laguna.”

With the LMP cars completing laps in little more than a minute, traffic was always going to be an issue throughout the 1000 mile event, and Fernandez admitted that the accident could have happened to anyone and wasn't all down to Diaz.

“The incident that Luis had with the backmarker was unfortunate,” he said. “Traffic has been very, very difficult. We were hoping that the car would be its best at night because the three of us were really struggling to stay on top of the car and we barely managed to stay on the lead lap. I was just hoping that the balance of the car would improve under cooler conditions. This track has caught out a lot of people and caused a lot of damage. It is not an easy place. There are a lot of blind corners, a lot of tight corners. And when you have four different classes racing at the same time on this type of course, carnage is going to happen beside the challenge that this track is on its own.

“I have always said that dealing with traffic is the hardest part about racing in this series. Once in awhile it will bite you and it bit us today. It is unfortunate to have another DNF, and we feel bad for Lowe's and all of our supporters. We just have to regroup and keep working hard. It has been a tough year for us and we have to come on top of it at the end of the day for next year because there is just one more race. Hopefully, we can do well at Laguna.”


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