Mid-Ohio: Fernandez Racing preview

Lowe's Fernandez Racing Heads to Mid-Ohio for Grand American Rolex Series Showdown Lowe's Fernandez Racing returns to action this weekend for the series' annual stop at the scenic Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for Saturday night's 2-hour, 45-minute...

Lowe's Fernandez Racing Heads to Mid-Ohio for Grand American Rolex Series Showdown

Lowe's Fernandez Racing returns to action this weekend for the series' annual stop at the scenic Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for Saturday night's 2-hour, 45-minute Grand American Rolex Series main event.

Drivers Adrian Fernandez and Mario Haberfeld are race ready once again, the team having had a pair of off weekends to prepare the No. 12 Lowe's Fernandez Racing Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype after the grueling six-hour marathon at Watkins Glen, N.Y., June 3. Saturday night's main event returns to the series' traditional 2-hour, 45-minute race length around the beautiful 2.258-mile road circuit situated between Columbus and Cleveland. As the first-year team looks at the season's second half ahead, Fernandez and Haberfeld are primed for their first win together on a familiar track. Fernandez scored a victory here in 1998 during his long and illustrious Champ Car series career, while Haberfeld brought home a top-10 result in his only Champ Car start at Mid-Ohio in 2003.

Lowe's Fernandez Racing debuted in this season's opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, where it climbed as high as third before overheating problems ended a promising run. The first-year team has shown steady progress with solid runs this season at Mexico City, Homestead, Long Beach and Laguna Seca before breaking through with a qualifying race win and top-five finish in the feature race at Phoenix.

ADRIAN FERNANDEZ ON RETURNING TO MID-OHIO: "I've always enjoyed racing at Mid-Ohio very much. I won there in '98. It was a great race, a great fight with Scott Pruett, who was my teammate at Patrick Racing. This weekend, we'll be racing against each other on different teams. It's a very fun track, especially now that it's been repaved. I've been looking forward to this race, especially after a tough weekend at Watkins Glen. We should be strong. The Lowe's car has had time to get back in shape since it was pretty damaged at Watkins Glen. Mid-Ohio is a tough track -- very technical, and difficult to set up for -- but I've raced there a lot. We also have a lot of people on the team who are very familiar with the track, so we have that in our favor."

ADRIAN FERNANDEZ LOOKING AHEAD TO THE SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON: "I'm pretty happy with how competitive we are now. We've definitely proven that we're there. Being so new and racing against teams that have been in Grand-Am for a while, it's a great testament to how good our team is. Unfortunately, a lot of times we have not been able to get the result that we needed, or we have been definitely capable of. We just need to keep working hard, doing what we know how to do best, and keep putting ourselves in the position to get the results. It's just a matter of time."

MARIO HABERFELD ON RACING AT MID-OHIO: "It feels good to be racing at a track like Mid-Ohio that I have experience on, and where Adrian and the rest of the team have had success in the past. My first time there was in Champ Cars in 2003, and we had a pretty good result. We ran strong all weekend and moved up a lot of positions during the race. It's probably one of the most difficult places to race, but it will be a challenge that I know our team will be ready to deal with this weekend. Watkins Glen was tough for us for a lot of reasons. The rain made it very tricky to make tire decisions during the race. We ran into some bad luck in the middle of the race while we were on slick tires and it started to rain. If everything goes the way I know it can, we will be ready to fight for our first win together at Mid-Ohio."


* Fernandez, 43, a Mexico City native who now resides in Paradise Valley, Ariz., 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.

* 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 U.S. racing debut in the Champ Car World Series contesting the 2003 and 2004 seasons.


* 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 is based at the Fernandez Racing headquarters in Indianapolis, Ind. Anderson oversees 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. Formerly based in Mexico for eight years, Miller speaks fluent Spanish.

* 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 valued 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.

U.S. Coverage: Television coverage of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series will be carried on SPEED-TV in 2006. Mid-Ohio Rolex Series Race -- Sunday, June 25 -- SPEED-TV -- 3:00 p.m. EDT (tape-delayed).

Mexico Coverage: Rolex Series races will also be distributed around the world via ESPN International, and Spanish-language broadcasts via FOX Latin American Channels including FX in Mexico.


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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Mario Haberfeld , Scott Sharp , Adrian Fernandez , Scott Pruett , Tom Anderson , Kosuke Matsuura , Steve Miller
Teams Hendrick Motorsports