INDIANAPOLIS--Fernández Racing took delivery of its first Lola B2/00 chassis yesterday at the team's headquarters in Indianapolis. With the move from Reynard to Lola, Fernández Racing is currently the only team running the Honda/Lola combination in the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series.
"The new Lola appears to be a logical development of last year's car," said Co-owner and Technical Director Don Halliday, who worked with the Lola chassis in 2001 as race engineer for driver Kenny Brack at Team Rahal.
"Mechanically it is very similar, and aerodynamically, it is a little different in places. Hopefully it is a conservative development on the good points of this past year, and a correction on some areas which weren't so good."
Shinji Nakano will put the Honda/Lola through its initial paces at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla., on January 10. Team owner/driver Adrián Fernández is scheduled to get behind the wheel for his first laps on January 23, at a two-day test also at Sebring.
"With our first test now scheduled for January, it will give us the necessary time to group," noted Halliday on the team's decision to move its originally scheduled test from December 19. "We are in a situation where people are getting familiar with a new car, and a new brand in this case. It will also give Honda time to make any necessary adjustments.
"Basically it allows us time to do things right, which is always a pleasure to have when you're going to your first test."
Fernández Racing Co-owner and Managing Director Tom Anderson is equally optimistic about the team's first pre-season outing.
"We are looking forward to working with our new partners at Lola and to our first opportunity to run, at this time, the only Honda/Lola combination. I know there will be a lot of support from Lola and Honda at the test, so we are extremely encouraged and looking forward to January 10. I can't wait.
"EFI has some major upgrades to its [data acquisition] system, and I am also looking forward to getting that software and hardware together to start working with it and its expanded capabilities for the 2002 season," added Anderson.