Adrian Fernandez posted the fourth quickest time in provisional qualifying for Sunday's Lexmark Indy 300 in Surfers Paradise but found himself promoted to third on the overnight grid when Alex Tagliani's car failed post-qualifying technical inspection.

The 2000 Surfers Paradise winner made a strong start in opening activities on the 2.795-mile temporary street circuit, nailing the top spot on the time charts overall after the two morning practice sessions. Weather conditions changed considerably for qualifying however, with cooler temperatures alongside overcast and windy conditions leaving Fernandez and his #51 Tecate/Telmex/Quaker State crew struggling to make the necessary adjustments.

"We were very strong this morning," commented Fernandez, who finished qualifying nine tenths of a second behind provisional polesitter Bruno Junqueira with a best effort of 1:33.668secs in his Lola-Ford. "The conditions changed a lot for this afternoon. We were fast but we were not as strong as we were this morning. I think P3 is a good start and I think we can improve."

"We have a very strong car but there was traffic during qualifying and the temperature was a lot cooler so we needed more laps [to get up to speed]," added Fernandez Racing team manager Gustavo del Campo. "I think we are headed in the right direction to finish well on Sunday."



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