SEBRING, Florida (January 9, 2001) -- Fernandez Racing concluded the first day of a scheduled three-day test session at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida, today with a shakedown of its new 2001 package. The test marked the...
SEBRING, Florida (January 9, 2001) -- Fernandez Racing concluded the first day of a scheduled three-day test session at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida, today with a shakedown of its new 2001 package. The test marked the inaugural outing for the newly-founded team, whose entry into the CART FedEx Championship Series was announced just over two months ago by owners Adrian Fernandez and Tom Anderson.
Fernandez put the #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Reynard through its initial paces, logging 30 laps under cool temperatures and windy conditions at the 1.65-mile road course. He recorded a best lap time of 53.77 seconds.
"It was a positive first day," said Anderson, who also serves as team manager. "We had a slow start with a few minor electronic/data problems, but we were able to resolve those later in the day and during the last hour-and-a-half, the team was able to start concentrating on chassis setup and engine response techniques."
Fernandez, who last turned a lap at the CART season finale in Fontana, was looking forward to returning to the cockpit.
"It was an exciting day for me not only to be back in the car, but also to be here as a team after so many hours of work," said Fernandez. "To turn our first laps on the track really made this a reality for me. We are in the learning stages -- getting to know each other as a team as well as our new equipment. It's exciting.
"We had a few problems today, but nothing different from other places I have been. This is why we go testing. We will be ready to go tomorrow morning."
Fernandez will share the driving duties with teammate Shinji Nakano, who takes over the #51 machine tomorrow afternoon. Each driver will get a day-and-a-half of testing before the team heads to California for CART's Sneak Preview -- a three-day pre-season media event beginning January 16.