Lowe's Fernandez Racing to Compete for 2006 Rolex Series Championship Adrian Fernandez and Mario Haberfeld to Pilot No. 12 Lowe's Pontiac Riley INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (January 4) -- Lowe's and Fernandez Racing today announced the creation of Lowe's...
Lowe's Fernandez Racing to Compete for 2006 Rolex Series Championship
Adrian Fernandez and Mario Haberfeld to Pilot No. 12 Lowe's Pontiac Riley
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (January 4) -- Lowe's and Fernandez Racing today announced the creation of Lowe's Fernandez Racing which will field the No. 12 Lowe's Fernandez Racing Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype for drivers Adrian Fernandez and Mario Haberfeld in the 14-race Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series in 2006.
The team begins testing on Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the 44th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Delphi Fernandez Racing's Indy Racing League driver Scott Sharp, a former Rolex 24 winner, will join Fernandez and Haberfeld in their quest to win North America's premier endurance race.
"This is exciting for all of us," Fernandez said. "I am honored that I can continue my relationship with Lowe's and build something new with them in Grand American. Last year, we established the foundation of our relationship in NASCAR and now we will build something new together in the Rolex Sports Car Series."
Fernandez, 42, a Mexico City native who now resides in Phoenix, made his mark as an open-wheel star through a 12-year career at the top levels of the sport. In 2005, he branched out to NASCAR running six races with Hendrick Motorsports in the Busch Series.
"I will race in the Mexico City Busch race in March with Hendrick Motorsports, and I think we will have a very good shot at running up front there again," Fernandez said. "I'm looking forward to that opportunity, but my main focus will be on the Rolex Series and getting the No. 12 Lowe's Pontiac to victory lane."
Fernandez noted he sees tremendous growth potential with the Grand American Rolex Series.
"Grand American Rolex Series competition is growing in popularity, and I expect it to keep growing in the coming years. I like the direction this series is headed. Hopefully we will bring a lot of new fans to the sport."
Haberfeld, 29, a native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and current resident of Key Biscayne, Fla., is a former British Formula 3 champion, who made his US racing debut in the Champ Car World Series contesting the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
"This is an honor for me to join Adrian Fernandez, who I have admired my entire driving career, along with a company like Lowe's, whose racing involvement is so extensive," said Haberfeld. "It gives me great confidence that this is going to be a successful team on and off the race track."
The Lowe's Fernandez Racing team is a new addition to Lowe's involvement in auto racing. Lowe's sponsors the No. 48 Nextel Cup car driven by Jimmie Johnson and the No. 5 Busch Series car driven by Kyle Busch. In addition to the Hendrick Motorsports entries, Lowe's owns the naming rights at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte, N.C.
"Lowe's is proud to have Adrian back behind the wheel and to welcome Mario to Team Lowe's Racing," said Bob Gfeller, Lowe's senior vice president of marketing and advertising. "Adrian's fans, many of whom are also Lowe's customers, have demonstrated their passion for Adrian and Lowe's is proud to support the sport our customers care about. We look forward to supporting Adrian and this team both on and off the track."
Fernandez Racing was formed in 2000 by Fernandez and motorsports veteran Tom Anderson. The team has grown to encompass the Super Aguri Fernandez Racing and Delphi Fernandez Racing teams, which currently contest the IndyCar Series with drivers Kosuke Matsuura and Scott Sharp respectively.
Lowe's Fernandez Racing will be based at the Fernandez Racing headquarters in Indianapolis, Ind. Anderson will oversee the program as managing director, with Steve Miller as team manager, Mike Sales as chief mechanic and John Ward as race engineer.
Miller has been involved in motorsports for over 20 years in a variety of roles from mechanic to engineer and team director, and most recently served as general manager for Fernandez Racing. Sales has spent the past four years at Fernandez Racing in both chief mechanic and team manager roles and, as a veteran of over 33 years in the sport, brings extensive racing experience. Ward's distinguished career as a race and design engineer dates back to the mid '70s, and he most recently served as race engineer with Fernandez Racing in the IndyCar Series. His impressive roster of accomplishments include the design of a Daytona 24-Hour and Sebring 12-Hour race-winning chassis.
Lowe's Fernandez Racing will field a Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype in the Rolex Series. Pontiac earned ten victories and four second-place finishes in 2005 winning their second consecutive series championship. Likewise, Riley Technologies enjoyed a dominant season securing their second consecutive Daytona Prototype constructor's championship in 2005.
The Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series is the fastest growing auto racing class in the world, leading a resurgence of major-league road racing in North America. It is sanctioned by the Grand American Road Racing Association, which also oversees the Grand-Am Cup Series.
Television coverage of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series will be carried on SPEED Channel in 2006. Rolex Series races will also be distributed around the world via ESPN International, and Spanish-language broadcasts via FOX Sports Espanol.
Additional information on Lowe's Fernandez Racing and the Rolex Series can be found at media.lowesracing.com, www.fernandezracing.net and www.grandamerican.com.