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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
News
Coming Next Issue
SEMA
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.
We learned that immediately following the day's events the team would be replacing the engine on the #51 Team Fernandez racecar. Cosworth Racing supplies each team with a new 2.65-liter, 750 horsepower, Ford Cosworth V8 motor every 1,200 miles. The all aluminum, 32-vlave, turbocharged motor can spin 12,000 rpm and is monitored and maintained by a Cosworth engineer at each event.

Each time the motor is started "cold," a Cosworth engineer is present - he plugs in a laptop computer to one of the electrical boxes on the motor and monitors oil and water temperature, fuel and oil pressures and various other components. The engineer is also present while the motor is changed and is involved with any and all troubleshooting related to the motor. Any time the car is on the track, there's a Cosworth engineer sitting with the team, monitoring the engine's vitals. We would talk with Mathew Leicht of Cosworth Racing later in the day.

During the practice session Adiran made several pitstops for adjustments. Some of these adjustments were minor, while others were significant. Through the team's radio communications it became evident that the car was loose, so race engineer David Watson requested a shock absorber change. It was amazing to watch six or seven crewmembers replace a pair of shocks - they were able to swap a set of shocks in less than a minute, all without getting in one another's way.

Again, the practice session came to a close and surprisingly, we learned that the team wasn't practicing for the qualifying session - they were concentrating on "full tank" runs in preparation for Sunday's race. In the debriefing session, Adrian commented that he was experiencing a brake vibration - it was taking a toll on his arms and made the car difficult to control in the corners.

Qualifying began at 1:45pm and would last for one hour (remember how important time is?). When the qualifying session came to a close, Adrian found himself in sixth place with a time of 1:10.228. Less than 0.7 seconds separated Adrian from the first place qualifier, Michel Jourdain, Jr.

Back in the garages, the Fernandez crew was hard at work on tearing down the car. They had a full schedule in front of them - the car would be completely disassembled and rebuilt in a matter of hours. Prior to tearing it down, they scaled the car and took a series of complicated measurements so that they could return the car to the same set-up as before it was torn down. They have complex alignment tools, and various other measuring devices that they use to record settings, ride heights, camber, caster, and so on.

We talked with various crewmembers as they removed the bodywork, drained the radiators and fuel bladder, replaced the brake rotors, pads and brake fluid, rebuilt the suspension system (including the steering rack), rebuilt the transaxle/transmission assembly (all gears were replaced), and performed other work on the Lola chassis.


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