CHANDLER, Arizona (February 22, 2001) â€“ FernÃ¡ndez Racing teammates AdriÃ¡n FernÃ¡ndez and Shinji Nakano today wrapped up a solid first day of testing at Firebird International Raceway, located just outside of Phoenix. The three-day outing will...
CHANDLER, Arizona (February 22, 2001) – Fernández Racing teammates Adrián Fernández and Shinji Nakano today wrapped up a solid first day of testing at Firebird International Raceway, located just outside of Phoenix. The three-day outing will mark the final road course appearance for the team as it prepares for the start of the CART FedEx Championship Series on March 11 at the Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix.
Both the #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Reynard and #52 Alpine Honda/Reynard of Fernández and Nakano each logged over 110 laps on the 1.2-mile East road course, which features 10 turns and a half-mile straightaway.
Under perfect weather conditions, with temperatures in the low 70s (F), Fernández logged a best lap time of 47.5 seconds, and Nakano 47.7 seconds.
“This was the first test day that both of us ran a lot of miles with no mechanical problems, so that was very good,” said Fernández. “We did a lot of testing together, and worked on a lot of things. Time-wise it is very difficult to know because there was a lot of rubber down, and some concrete patches that weren’t here before.
“We did a 47.5 which isn’t bad considering we are the only guys here and there is so much rubber everywhere. I’m very, very pleased. The guys did a great job.”
“For me, today went quite well,” added Nakano. “We ran a lot of laps and tested many things on the car. Adrián and I worked together a lot. We compared fuel mileage, and I have to learn how to save fuel and I can learn this from Adrián. We are working on this together, and it is going to be a very important thing for the race.”
Fernández Racing will conclude testing activities at Firebird on Saturday. The team will then continue its western tour, changing from road course to oval trim for its last pre-season test -- a two-day outing on the one-mile oval at Phoenix International Raceway beginning February 27.
“We had no problems whatsoever today,” said Tom Anderson, owner and team manager. “Overall this was the best test day we’ve had, and we’re expecting more of the same the next two days, as well as working on our pit stop practice.”