David Martinez to Join Lowe's FernÃ¡ndez Racing at Sebring Open-Wheel Talent Named as Third Driver for Team's ALMS Debut INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (February 28) - Lowe's FernÃ¡ndez Racing today announced that up-and-coming open-wheel talent David ...
David Martinez to Join Lowe's Fernández Racing at Sebring Open-Wheel Talent Named as Third Driver for Team's ALMS Debut
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (February 28) - Lowe's Fernández Racing today announced that up-and-coming open-wheel talent David Martinez will join Adrián Fernández and Luis Díaz in the American Le Mans Series' season-opener - the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The 55th-running of this historic event on March 17 will mark the debut of the team and its No. 15 Lowe's Acura-powered Lola LMP2 sports car in ALMS competition.
"Since the middle of last year we have been working very hard to put our best foot forward at Sebring," said Fernández. "This is an important event for not only our tremendous partners at Lowe's, but everyone at Acura as they prepare for their sports car debut. In an endurance race such as this, you need to have a third driver on hand. David complements the extremely competitive effort we feel we have in place."
Martinez, 25, hails from Monterrey, Mexico. He finished fifth in the Atlantic Series the past two seasons, and was a picture of consistency in 2006 as the only driver to complete every lap of competition. A former Mexican Formula Renault champion, he was equally impressive in his Champ Car debut last November. Martinez put forth the best qualifying effort by a debut driver in 2006 Champ Car competition with a ninth-place start at Mexico City, and turned more than a few heads with a strong run and ninth-place finish.
"First of all, I am extremely honored to be asked to join Adrián and Luis at Sebring," said Martinez. "Adrián has been a benchmark for all Mexican drivers, and to be part of his team is very special for me. The level of professionalism and determination of everyone on the team is really impressive, and I'm very excited to be part of their program for Sebring."
Martinez had a preview of what to expect in the famed endurance race on February 20, joining Fernández and Díaz behind the wheel of the No. 15 Lowe's Acura Lola in a special "One-Make Race" hosted by Acura. The outing was a simulation of the 12-hour event, pitting the three Acura- powered teams against one another on the grueling 3.7-mile, 17-turn circuit. Lowe's Fernández Racing emerged the winner.
"The Sebring simulation race was a good dry run for us," said team co-owner and managing director Tom Anderson. "I was very proud of everyone on this team. The car was as strong at the 12-hour mark as it was at the start. David fit in perfectly and I think all three drivers now have a better understanding of what to expect when we go back to Sebring in two weeks. As a team, we also have a better handle on what can hurt us in the race. I have to take my hat off to our partners at Acura for putting this together. It was a great learning experience for everyone."
The trio of Fernández, Díaz and Martinez will return to Sebring International Raceway on March 12 for the start of practice activities leading up to Saturday's race.
"This [the Sebring simulation test] was the best test I have ever participated in during my career," noted Díaz. "We ran a very strong pace and the Lowe's Acura ran flawlessly. I look forward to returning to Sebring next month after the performance we had at the test."