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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, continued.
Fuel information is extremely privileged - the teams go to great lengths to keep the information confidential. The fuel valve deadman operator (he stands at the fuel cart and is the emergency fuel shut-off man) hides the fuel meter from view by blocking it with his body. Then, as soon as Dan Grabski can take a reading, the meter is reset to zero - I was lucky to catch a glimpse of it.

The final pit stop took place on lap 71, and the team put in 22 gallons of methanol. After the pit stop was finished I flashed a "thumbs up/thumbs down" sign to John Slater and he returned a "thumbs middle" sign. Adrian left the pit in seventh position and went on to finish the race in the same position.

After the checkered flag flew, the team was informed their car would be tech inspected, so they pushed it to the tech center for an inspection. Various crew members hurriedly packed up the pit space and within an hour, the pit box was nearly vacant.

Back in the garage, the packing continued at a hurried pace as well. The team would have to repeat this weekend's entire process again in just a few days - Portland, Oregon was the next stop, which Fernandez would go on to win.

Rich Meredith (inside rear tire changer/starter/mechanic) also drives one of the haulers. He explained that he would leave the track by around 6pm and drive straight to Portland. The rest of the team would fly to Portland on Monday. Rich was looking forward to getting to the track early, washing the haulers and then playing a little golf.

While the team packed, Adrian debriefed with his engineers. A long line of fans began to accumulate outside of the haulers - they were looking for autographs and pictures of their favorite driver. While we talked with Adrian, he was busy signing various items for fans - a helmet visor, a CD, a photograph, a poster and so on.

Despite having just run 87 grueling laps in a cramped racecar, Adrian looked like a million bucks. He took time to answer all of our questions (see side bar), posed for a photo and wished us well.

As we exited the hauler, we said thanks to all of the Fernandez crewmembers and wished them luck with the upcoming race in Portland. As we were walking back to the rental car, I turned and saw the car being loaded into the hauler - they were almost ready to leave the track.

So there you have it. 345,600 seconds in the life of a CART racing team brought to you compliments of the Fernandez Racing team. We have to say thank you to many people for making this story possible, including: Adrian Fernandez, Tammy Valkosky, Mathew Leicht, Ed Grabski, Ed Nichols and of course each and every member of the Team Fernandez racing crew.

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