In the wake of his angry retirement from the Sure For Men Rockingham 500, Adrian Fernandez is pleased that CART have said they will address the three-tier pitlane speed limit and the issue of speeding in the pits under yellow at the end of the year.

CART's sole team owner/driver Adrian Fernandez was visibly upset with the CART pitlane officials after being black-flagged from the Sure For Men Rockingham 500. The Mexican driver was given the penalty after speeding on pit road following the final round of pit stops, which were held under yellow flag conditions, and with less than 30 laps remaining when officials showed Fernandez the black flag, the penalty effectively ended his day.

Now, CART's Vice President of Racing Operations, John Lopes has stated that CART will look at the rules surrounding pitlane speeding penalties and the new-for-2002 three-tier speed limit incorporated on the ovals of the FedEx Series. Despite the fact that Lopes said that nothing could be done until after the 2002 season has closed out at Mexico City, Fernandez was pleased to see that CART have taken the situation on board.

"I was pleased to hear John state that some rules need to be reviewed at the end of the season," said Fernandez, who recently parted company with chief engineer Don Halliday. "The two-stage pit lane speed limit was intended as a safety measure, not a speed trap. There were four other drivers who incurred pit lane penalties at Rockingham. It is a grey area, and I am glad that CART is going to review the concept of the 'penalty fitting the crime' in these types of situations. As it stands, we are all affected - CART, our team, the sponsors and the fans."

Fernandez was penalised despite being part of a train of cars leaving pit road at the same time and his penalty was the last in a line that included Michael Andretti, Michel Jourdain Jr and Scott Dixon (twice). However instead of continuing in the race after the penalty, so incensed was Fernandez that he stormed out of his car and went nose to nose with the nearest FedEx official.

"My reaction to the pit lane penalty was the result of frustrations I have had throughout this season regarding what I view as inconsistencies in the way the rules are applied overall," said the normally placid 37 year-old. "Inconsistencies that, for our team, have cost us three results this year. Things came to a head with the Rockingham penalty. I hope this is an area that will be reviewed in the off-season as well. CART is making positive strides in the competition area for 2003, and I have confidence that the enforcement of the rules will fall into place as well."


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