Lowe's Fernandez Racing Debuts New Acura Chassis Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz today completed their first test with the team's new ...
Lowe's Fernandez Racing Debuts New Acura Chassis
Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz today completed their first test with the team's new #15 Lowe's Acura ARX-01b LMP2 prototype. The four-day outing was held at Sebring International Raceway in conjunction with the American Le Man Series Winter Test.
Lowe's Fernandez Racing took delivery of its new ARX chassis on December 28. The ARX-01b is the latest version of the ARX-01a, which was campaigned by Andretti Green Racing and Highcroft Racing in 2007.
Following a successful shakedown at Sebring's short course on Sunday, the team turned its attention to Sebring's full 3.7-mile road course as ALMS Winter Test activities began on Monday. Eighteen cars participated in the three days of testing in preparation for the season-opening 56th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida on March 15.
Lowe's Fernandez Racing continued to make steady progress on its learning curve over the course of the three days with Fernandez and Diaz turning a best lap of 1:45.818 (125.875 mph) to end the test fifth fastest in the LMP2 class. The team will return to Sebring in February to continue its pre-season program. Last year, Lowe's Fernandez Racing claimed the first of three podiums of the season at the challenging and demanding road course.
Adrian Fernandez: "We are very excited about this new car, and have a lot of work ahead of us before the first race. We went through the normal stages of a brand new car and first test -- making the drivers comfortable and all that -- but I think there is a lot of potential and I am encouraged by the results of the test. We definitely made the right decision to switch to the ARX, and we are very excited about the work that Acura and Nick Wirth [Wirth Research] is putting into the car and the program. I think we will have a very strong year. We have one more test scheduled plus the week of the race and that should give us what we need."
Adrian Fernandez-- enters second season of ALMS competition claiming three podiums and six top-five finishes in 2007 debut-- is a veteran of 12 years at the top levels of open-wheel competition, winning in both Champ Car (CART) and IndyCar Series competition-- debuted in sports car competition in 2006, winning the Mid-Ohio Rolex Sports Car Series race and claiming four additional top-five finishes-- began competing in select NASCAR Busch Series events in 2005, driving for Team Lowe's Racing and Hendrick Motorsports-- finished fifth in the IndyCar Series championship in his inaugural season in 2004 with three wins-- missed the 2000 Champ Car championship crown by only 10 points, finishing second in the series-- has garnered numerous awards over the years including "Athlete of the Year in Mexico"-- named one of Mexico's 300 most influential people by a national magazine in 2006-- 44 years old from Mexico City--resides in Scottsdale, Ariz., with wife Catalina and daughter Valentina.
Luis Diaz: "It was a good first experience with this new car and the team did a tremendous job in preparing it. A lot of development was done on the car for 2008 and there were a lot of changes from last year. This car is definitely more stable under braking and it doesn't seem to be as sensitive to changes in the weather like our car was last year. Even though there are three Acura teams, we are working together like one team to develop the car faster. This track is so demanding. It is bumpy and fast and while it is hard on the drivers and the equipment, it is exciting to drive. In a few weeks, I am going to Phoenix to stay with Adrian for a month to continue training. We want to be well-prepared for the start of the season and, as a team, we are doing everything we can to be ready to fight for wins this year."
Luis Diaz... enters second season of ALMS competition claiming three podiums and six top-five finishes in 2007 debut-- entered sports car competition in 2004 claiming eight wins in the Grand-Am series over three years as well as Rolex Sports Car Series Team Championship honors in 2006 and a second-place result in the driver championship co-driving with Scott Pruett-- was named "Driver of the Year" in Mexico in 2006-- won the Mexico Formula 3 championship in 1998-- earned Rookie of the Year honors in the Indy Lights Pan-American Championship, Mexico Formula 3 Championship and Formula Reynard Series Mexico-- U.S. open-wheel success includes a fourth-place finish in the 2002 Atlantic championship-- began racing go-karts at the age of 12, winning several national championships-- 30 years old from Mexico City-- resides in Toluca, Mexico, with wife Carolina-- nickname is "Chapulin" (Cha-poo-leen) which means grasshopper.