HOMESTEAD, Florida (January 24, 2001) -- Fernandez Racing has completed its first day of oval testing, kicking off a scheduled two-day outing on the 1.5-mile course at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. It was a productive day for...
HOMESTEAD, Florida (January 24, 2001) -- Fernandez Racing has completed its first day of oval testing, kicking off a scheduled two-day outing on the 1.5-mile course at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida.
It was a productive day for Adrian Fernandez aboard the #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Reynard. Fernandez logged over 180 miles under perfect weather conditions with highs in the mid-70s, and recorded a best lap time of 26.6 seconds.
"We made a lot of changes, experimented with a lot of things and were able to improve the car," said Fernandez. "I think we were a half-second off our qualifying time from last year, but the track conditions were not ideal because the trucks and some other series had been testing here and they run different lines. The level of grip wasn't there, plus we are running less boost this year due to the new CART regulations.
"For our first test on an oval, it was a good day. As a new group, we need to put miles on the team as well. We had no mechanical problems. Unfortunately Shinji had a few problems. I will stay for the test tomorrow, but I won't be driving. Shinji will run my car to replace his day."
The outing marked the first appearance of the #52 Honda/Reynard piloted by Nakano. Nakano and Fernandez shared driving duties of the #51 car during the team's initial test outing at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida, on January 9.
"We had a problem with the gearbox which we couldn't fix here, so the car needs to go back to the shop," said Nakano, who finished eighth in his Champ Car debut at Homestead last year. "We ran about 16 laps which wasn't enough time to do much. Martin [Pare, Nakano's engineer] and I needed more time. Tomorrow I will run in Adrian's car. It feels good to be back at Homestead, but I wish we would have had more track time."
"I've had better days and I've had worse days," said Tom Anderson, owner and team manager. "Adrian had a good day. He and John [Ward] worked on a lot of things and had a real productive day."