LOWE'S FERNANDEZ ACURA DUO ENJOYS TITLE-WINNING ALMS SPORTS CAR SEASON; FERNANDEZ, DIAZ READY FOR ANOTHER LMP2 CLASS WIN AT PETIT LE MANS With Seven 2009 Victories, Lowe's Fernandez Acura Seeks A Record-Tying 8th ALMS Win ...
LOWE'S FERNANDEZ ACURA DUO ENJOYS TITLE-WINNING ALMS SPORTS CAR
SEASON; FERNANDEZ, DIAZ READY FOR ANOTHER LMP2 CLASS WIN AT PETIT LE MANS
With Seven 2009 Victories, Lowe's Fernandez Acura Seeks A Record-Tying 8th ALMS Win
BRASELTON, Ga. (Sept. 9, 2009) -- Adrian Fernandez has won races in many racing series. But the popular Mexican racing star had to admit his last win, the LMP2 prototype class victory, in the American Le Mans Series race at Mosport International Raceway on August 30 was a little more special.
The victory for Fernandez and his partner Luis Diaz in the No. 15 Lowe's Fernandez Acura ARX-01b sports car clinched the LMP2 drivers' championship with two races remaining on the ALMS tour.
Yes, Fernandez has won in CART, IndyCar Series, Indy Lights, ALMS and Grand-Am tours during his North American racing career. But the Mosport triumph gave Adrian his first professional racing title.
"I have to thank Lowe's for giving us the opportunity to compete in the American Le Mans Series, and our great partners in Acura and Michelin," said Fernandez, 45. "It has been a fantastic season. I have to thank the team and my teammate. Everybody did a fantastic job this year. We always focused on what we needed to do and we never gave up. There are two races to go and it is nice to have this championship now. This is the first championship for Fernandez Racing and it is a very special feeling to share this with my great partner Tom Anderson."
The Mosport win was the Lowe's team's seventh in eight starts this year and the next American Le Mans Series race, the prestigious Petit Le Mans on Sept. 26 at Road Atlanta, could bring another milestone for Fernandez and Diaz. An eighth win at Petit Le Mans in LMP2 for the pair would tie the ALMS LMP2 class record for wins in a season. Penske Racing's Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas captured eight LMP2 races in 2007.
"Adrian is a great boss, great teammate and a great friend," said Diaz., 31. "He is my idol and to win this championship with him means a lot to me and to a lot of people in Mexico. I also want to thank Lowe's, Acura and Michelin for their great support. It means so much to represent these great companies. Acura produces a great engine. We have had no problems this year and our Michelin tires have been awesome. This team is very, very strong and we can compete against anybody. I can't say enough about this team."
The Lowe's Fernandez team was established in 2000 when Fernandez teamed with veteran racing executive Tom Anderson to campaign an IndyCar Series entry. The Indianapolis-based organization has concentrated on sports car racing for the past four years, and the experienced operation includes engineer John Ward, team manager Mike Sales, general manager Steve Miller, crew chief Tony Leith and a solid crew to assist Fernandez and Diaz in their title run with seven wins and six poles.
"The driver's championship today is a testimonial to reliability," said Anderson. "The Acura chassis and the Acura engine have just performed flawlessly all year and coupled with the Michelin tires, it has just been an incredible reliable program. It was a fantastic job by all the team and Adrian and Luis, and a big thanks to our partners Lowe's and Acura. This clinches our driver's championship. We will proceed to Petit to hopefully continue our quest for the manufacturer's and team championship awards."
The Petit Le Mans, a tough 1,000-mile contest, brings an outstanding field to the 2.45-mile Road Atlanta road circuit, and the Lowe's Fernandez Acura squad will seek another milestone with an eighth LMP2 victory. With the likes of the Dyson Racing Mazda Lola cars posing as Fernandez and Diaz' chief threats, the action should be tight throughout the endurance classic.
Acura also brings two LMP1 teams, Patron Highcroft Racing and de Ferran Motorsports, to Petit Le Mans against factory efforts from Audi and Peugeot.
-credit: acura motorsports