RESULTS: 7th, Lites; 256 points
STATS: 11 starts, best finish 4th
IN BRIEF: Fernandez didn’t have the breakout season he may have hoped for in his third year as a GRC Lites driver, but that didn’t mean there weren’t any bright spots. Red Bull GRC’s first Colombian competitor, now the leader of a three-car AF Racing Team effort, provided valuable advice to Christian Brooks and Travis PeCoy and won his third straight Fan Favorite Driver award.
HIGHLIGHTS: In both Daytona and MCAS New River, Fernandez earned victories in last chance qualifiers in 2016—not the ideal race sessions to win, but wins nonetheless. His best main event finish of the year, however, came in Seattle, where he showed the ability to lead in the heats and overcame a major incident with Jon Bennett in the first round to run second in round two and place fourth in the final.
LOWLIGHTS: Walking away from Phoenix with zero points from the finals was backbreaking for Fernandez’s title hopes. He missed the Saturday main event after contact in the last chance qualifier, but worse, he didn’t get to keep his podium finish on Sunday when a last-corner pass on Miki Weckstrom was deemed rough driving. The result was a disqualification, classifying him 10th in the results but also stripping his points.
ALEJANDRO FERNANDEZ 2016 RESULTS
|Daytona (I)||8||5||LCQ win|
|MCAS New River||6||6||LCQ win|
|Los Angeles (I)||9||6|
|Los Angeles (II)||10||5|
|AVERAGES/TOTALS||7.4||7.3||2 LCQ wins|
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “The field and the level of competition has gotten a lot better, and that’s really cool to see as a driver as one of the first GRC Lites here in the States,” Fernandez said in Daytona. “So that’s one thing, and also it’s been about getting lucky at the starts. It can all be won and lost in turn one. If you’re too passive, you’re giving too much of a lead, but if you’re too aggressive, you can also just knock yourself out. So (being successful) is just about finding that middle point.”