PHOENIX, Ariz. (January 21, 2003) - Owner/driver Adrian Fernandez has been cleared to return to the cockpit of his Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone following the results of a recent CT scan. He will make his first on-track...
PHOENIX, Ariz. (January 21, 2003) - Owner/driver Adrian Fernandez has been cleared to return to the cockpit of his Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone following the results of a recent CT scan. He will make his first on-track appearance of the season in the CART open test at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on January 25 and 26 as the team prepares for the start of the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.
"His fractures are healed and he can go back to normal activities," said Dr. Terry Trammell, CART's Chief Orthopedic Consultant. "There have been no further changes since the last scans."
Fernandez last turned a lap on October 27 in Surfers Paradise, Australia, the site of the multi-car accident that left him a spectator for the final two events of 2002. After an off-season spent in physiotherapy and an intensive fitness program, Fernandez was given the green light yesterday.
"I didn't anticipate any problems with the scan, but it gives you peace of mind to know for certain that everything is okay," said Fernandez. "I am really looking forward to getting back in the car this weekend. I feel fine and I am ready to go. I am not 100 percent in terms of doing everything I want - I can't play golf yet or do things where I have to twist - but that will improve over time."
The 2003 season marks the third year of competition for Fernandez Racing, and CART's only competing owner/driver is optimistic as he looks forward.
"We hope that this time we can capitalize on what we have built the last few years," said Fernandez. "I feel we have a better organization and we should be able to get the results that we want. With a little bit of luck, we should be able to fight for the championship and that's our main aim.
"There are a lot of new things at CART; this is a brand new ship. I think there are a lot of good opportunities. From what I have heard, the new Ford-Cosworth engine is different in terms of response so everyone will have to adjust to a different Champ Car than what we are used to. I hope we can keep at the front and keep fighting with the top teams and top drivers throughout the entire year."
The new 19-race season will open on February 23 in St. Petersburg, Florida.
For additional information on Fernandez Racing, please visit www.fernandezracing.net. Additional information on CART can be found at www.cart.com.