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Roadfly Magazine
Issue Nine
Table of Contents

Past Issues Index
Roadfly Magazine
Issue Nine
October 29, 2003
Fernandez Racing
Fernandez Interview
Hot Lap: Strong Strut
CPO Nightmares
Lotus Elise Preview
Coming Next Issue
Bimmer Roundup Coverage
Hot Lap: The Wheel Exchange
Review PowerBook G4 17 inch
Want Clean Glass?

A Weekend Behind Pit Wall:
Team Fernandez & Laguna Seca
By Steve Litscher

(Wednesday, October 29, 2003 9:15 PM EST)

Important Links

Interview with
Adrian Fernandez

Time. Finite and irreplaceable, it may be one of the most important elements in our universe. Timing is critical to almost every aspect of life, but nowhere is time and timing so precious as it is in motor sports. Race victories are determined by the thousandths of seconds; drivers strain to run consistent lap times; pit crews and engineers wrack their brains to squeeze a few-hundredths of a second more performance from their driver's car.

Roadfly was fortunate enough to spend 345,600 seconds (4 days) with Team Fernandez during this year's CART Grand Prix of Monterey (Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California). We were granted full access to the team for these four days - nothing was ever off limits, and for this we extend a huge round of thanks to everyone at Team Fernandez. We were able to talk to anyone and everyone on the team, got to put our hands on some very expensive equipment and were made privy to some extremely sensitive information regarding the car set-ups and performance.

Before we dive into the events, happenings and the behind-the-scenes look into a typical race weekend, we need to address the current state of affairs within CART. A once prominent and dominant racing organization, feuds and other legal battles have taken their toll on America's open wheel racing leagues. IRL and CART have successfully fought each other into near-extinction; television coverage is at an all-time low, and if the fighting continues, it is inevitable that time will run out for both series.

Heck, at this point I don't even know how to properly describe the CART series - a few years ago, it was referred to as "Indy car racing," but that title was snatched away when Tony George decided to start his own series. Fair enough. The name then became "CART," which was catchy, easily remembered and appropriate for the series. But this year, a curve ball was thrown, and the series would officially become known as: "CART: Bridgestone Presents Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford," I think. I have to leave myself an exit because I couldn't find anyone who could confirm or deny the official name of the series. Talk about frustrating...let's just agree that for the sake of this article the series will be referred to as either "CART" or "Champ Car," ok?

Our race weekend began on Thursday, June 12 with a media lunch event, which was held in one of Laguna Seca's paddock pit row suites. A posh lunch was provided while drivers, media agents, publicists and reporters swarmed the smallish suite. There were television cameras just about everywhere and the drivers were being pulled in ten different directions throughout the entire hour and a half long event.

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