Lowe's Fernandez Racing made up for the disappointment of twelve months ago to secure LMP2 class honours in the opening round of the new American Le Mans Series season at Sebring.
Adrian Fernandez and Luis Dias had finished second overall last year and second in class before being disqualified from the results when the car failed a post-race stall test, but the pair returned this season as firm favourites for the LMP2 win against the new Dyson Racing Lola-Mazdas.
Indeed, with the Lola squad running into problems, the Acura outfit was afforded a clear run to the flag, with Fernandez stating he was delighted with the performance of the car en-route to fourth overall.
“Everybody on the team did a tremendous job,” he said. “It was a perfectly executed race for the Lowe's Fernandez team and we are very happy with this victory. This is a well-deserved win; we have been so consistent at this track. I think we did 60 laps more than last year and that speaks volumes for the preparation of the car by the whole team. The Acura package performed perfectly. We had absolutely no problems all day; and I am very proud of Luis.
“We wished we had a little more power like last year to fight a little bit sometimes with the P1s but it was a lot of fun. I have to thank everyone at Lowe's and every single employee that has been supporting us in these difficult times. I hope this win really brings home some good vibes for everybody. I am hoping this is the start of a fantastic year.”
Team managing director Tom Anderson admitted that the team was now in the perfect position to reap the benefits of the work carried out on the LMP2 Acura as the lone team still running the car this season and said the result was the perfect way to reward those behind the programme.
“Our win today was the perfect storm,” he said. “We had the combination of two years of a lot of hard work by a lot of people from Acura, Wirth Research, Andretti Green, Highcroft and de Ferran Motorsports, who combined to make the ARX-01b the fantastic car that it is this year. We are in a position to reap the benefits of all the hard work by everybody in this programme.
“With the support of Lowe's, I believe we are going to be a force to be reckoned with as we now have the ultimate combination. Adrian and Luis did a fantastic job today. They never put a wheel wrong. It was just a perfect job by everybody today – the pit stop crew and the guys that put the car together.”