CHAMPCAR/CART: Fernandez Racing Europe races preview

Fernandez Racing German 500 and Rockingham 500 CART FedEx Championship Series -- Rounds 16 and 17 EuroSpeedway Lausitz -- September 13-15 -- Two-Mile Oval Rockingham Motor Speedway -- September 20-22 -- 1.5-Mile Oval Adrián Fernández, ...

Fernandez Racing
German 500 and Rockingham 500
CART FedEx Championship Series -- Rounds 16 and 17

EuroSpeedway Lausitz -- September 13-15 -- Two-Mile Oval
Rockingham Motor Speedway -- September 20-22 -- 1.5-Mile Oval

Adrián Fernández, Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Reynard/Firestone:

* Last raced in Europe in 1989, finishing fifth in the prestigious RAC British Formula Ford Championship, alongside reigning CART champion Gil de Ferran and Formula One star David Coulthard

* After leaving his home country of Mexico at the age of 22 to further build his career in Europe, Fernández worked odd jobs as a mechanic and also as an instructor at the historic Brands Hatch circuit in England

On Germany: "I don't know much about the track, but I have heard it is a fantastic facility and it will be great to race in Germany. I've been to Germany before, to places like Hockenheim, when I was racing in Europe. When I was living in Holland, I went there quite a bit. I've been to Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich -- several places. I have quite a few friends there who will be coming to visit over the race weekend. These are friends who helped me when I was in Europe and basically had nothing. They helped me by giving me work and basically to survive in those days. In terms of the track, I hope we can give a good show for the German fans. It's a great opportunity to show what CART is all about."

On England: "I raced in England for three years and have a lot of friends there. When I was racing, it was in the days of struggling to find opportunities. To go back now, with my own team and the success that I've had over the past few years, will be quite a feeling. It will bring back a lot of memories from the days when I had nothing. When I was racing full time in 1988 and 1989, I was basically living in a small town between Sheffield and Chesterfield. That was when I was racing with John Village. I also lived in Gravesend, which is about 20 minutes from Brands Hatch, where I used to be an instructor. England is a beautiful country and I am really looking forward to coming back. I've heard a lot of good things about the track, and we are looking forward to giving the English fans a great show. I think they will find our series very accessible."

FAST FACTS: Is the only owner/driver in the current CART field ** will be making his 140th career Champ Car start in Germany ** his best oval start in 2001 was third at Chicago ** best oval finish to date this season was fifth at Milwaukee ** his best road/street course start in 2001 was second at Cleveland ** his best road/street course finish this year was third at Toronto and Elkhart Lake ** recorded his last win at the 2000 Honda Indy 300 in Australia ** has seven career Champ Car wins ** finished second in the championship last season ** fifth most-winning driver in the current CART field.

Shinji Nakano, #52 Avex/Alpine Honda/Reynard/Firestone:

* Last raced in Europe in 1998, competing in the Formula One World Championship with Minardi

* Made his European debut in 1990, competing in the British Vauxhall/Lotus and GM Lotus Euroseries alongside Formula One drivers Rubens Barrichello and David Coulthard, and posted his first European win at Silverstone

On Germany: "It's been three years since I have been in Germany, at Hockenheim and Nurburging in Formula One. I am glad to be going back to Europe. I really enjoyed my time there. Germany is a beautiful country, and I am looking forward to racing at the new circuit. As far as the track goes, it's the first time there for everybody but oval tracks require the same things -- you need to have a really good car. You need a car that is well-balanced and handles well in the draft. The car can be very nervous so you have to find the setup to have a good car through the corners."

On England: "I lived in England for three years, in Oxford and Milton Keynes, when I was racing in England. I have special memories because I won at Silverstone in Opel-Lotus [1990], which was my first career win in Europe. I have very good memories from there. I also have a lot of friends there, and I am looking forward to seeing everyone. I am really looking forward to seeing the new Rockingham circuit. Hopefully, the weather will be okay and we can put on a good race for all the fans."

FAST FACTS: Will be making his 32nd career Champ Car start in Germany ** his best oval qualifying in 2001 was fifth at Texas ** best oval finish to date this season was eighth in Motegi ** his best road/street course start in 2001 was ninth at Detroit ** his best road/street course finish this year was ninth in Toronto ** is in his sophomore season of Champ Car competition with four top-10 finishes to his credit ** has the benefit of a teammate for the first time in his CART career ** hails from Formula One with 33 F1 starts and nine top-10 finishes in two years of competition.

-FR-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Rubens Barrichello , David Coulthard , Adrian Fernandez , Shinji Nakano