Lowe's Fernandez Racing's Acura Lola Turns Its First Laps Fernandez Concludes Problem-Free Test PHOENIX, Ariz. (August 30, 2006) -- The Lowe's Fernandez Racing Acura-powered Lola LMP2 prototype turned its first-ever laps this week in a extremely...
Lowe's Fernandez Racing's Acura Lola Turns Its First Laps
Fernandez Concludes Problem-Free Test
PHOENIX, Ariz. (August 30, 2006) -- The Lowe's Fernandez Racing Acura-powered Lola LMP2 prototype turned its first-ever laps this week in a extremely successful two-day test that concluded today at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Ariz. Adrian Fernandez logged over 200 problem-free laps on the 1.2-mile road course as Lowe's Fernandez Racing and Acura engineers worked through their initial checklist for the team's 2007 American Le Mans Series entry.
"I can't remember a first test with a brand-new package ever going this well," said Fernandez, who endured temperatures over the 100º F mark during the outing. "Everyone at Acura and Lowe's Fernandez Racing just did a tremendous job in preparing this car. I can't say enough. All their hard work got us off to a great start, and also allowed us to begin our testing program for next year early.
"My first laps in the car were unbelievable - the sound of the engine, the effortless steering, the brakes. It was a tremendous experience. The car is fast. It felt great from the start, and I was amazed at how quickly we were able to make strides to continually get the car better and better. I'm thrilled that Lowe's Fernandez Racing is a partner with Acura in this project, and extremely encouraged and excited for our first season in ALMS next year. The car looks gorgeous, and I know our fans are going to love this car when they see it."
Lowe's Fernandez Racing will make its competition debut at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March, alongside the two other Acura-powered teams of Andretti Green and Highcroft Racing. Lowe's Fernandez Racing is the only Acura-powered team running the Lola B05/40 prototype.
"This test is the next step in the fulfillment of the project that will make Honda Performance Development a full-fledged, self-sufficient Research and Development company," said Robert Clarke, president of Honda Performance Development [HPD]. "The first step was to acquire the infrastructure and facilities necessary to support this effort, and the second was to actually build the American Le Mans Series engine. We've had the engine on the dynamometer for over three months, so we expected it to perform reliably during this test, although we weren't 100 percent certain that would happen when the engine and chassis were put together in a single package.
"The two-day test at Firebird International Raceway was actually the third step in the process, and was certainly a special moment in the overall development of the program. To see a car on the race track with an engine that was completely designed and developed by HPD was truly historic and a proud moment for the company, and the fact that the test has gone so smoothly and successfully is a tribute to everyone involved with the program and a great source of pride, as well."
An official unveiling of the Lowe's Fernandez Racing #15 Acura Lola, which ran in full livery for the test, is currently in the planning stages for late September.
"This is without a doubt the strongest opening test for any new racing program that I have ever witnessed," said team co-owner Tom Anderson, who began his motorsports career in the sports car ranks. "It shows the awesome talent and dedication strengths of Honda Performance Development, Lola and Michelin to the ALMS sports car program. It is such a pleasure to watch the car run. We can hardly wait to see it run again as our testing program continues throughout the fall and winter."