CHAMPCAR/CART: Fernandez to have his own team in 2001

Fernandez will be joined in this new effort by another CART veteran, Tom Anderson, as co-owner. The team will utilize Honda power, Reynard chassis and Firestone tires next season. Sophomore CART driver Shinji Nakano will also drive a second ...

Fernandez will be joined in this new effort by another CART veteran, Tom Anderson, as co-owner. The team will utilize Honda power, Reynard chassis and Firestone tires next season. Sophomore CART driver Shinji Nakano will also drive a second Fernandez Racing entry in 2001.

"This is the great step forward in my career, a way for me to extend my career beyond my years as a driver," Fernandez said. "But it was not a simple decision, by any means. I had the best seasons so far, as a driver, with Patrick Racing, and I will always be grateful for their hard work and support. There is no doubt that starting my own team will be a great challenge, but it is one I look forward to meeting."

From his former position of managing director of Target/Chip Ganassi Racing, Tom Anderson completes the ownership team of Fernandez Racing.

"This is a fantastic challenge," Anderson said. "The chance to help build up a team from scratch is a rare opportunity, and one I welcome. It took a great deal of planning and preparation just to get to this point. But now the real work begins."

The sponsorship lineup will include Tecate, Quaker State and Telmex, with sponsors for the second car to be named in the near future.

"We at Tecate, and our partners Quaker State and Telmex, have had great success through our association with Adrian," said company spokesperson Omar Canizales. "Assisting him in the creation of his own team will only deepen our relationship, and allow us to help in bringing new Mexican talent into the CART FedEx Championship Series."

Shinji Nakano completes the driver lineup for Fernandez Racing, after spending his rookie CART season driving for Walker Racing.

"I'm looking forward to learning from the experience both Tom and Adrian will bring to the team," Nakano said. "I especially believe that having a teammate will help me improve my skills as a CART racer. The chance to share information and race data can only help both of us."

"I have strongly supported and helped Adrian in his efforts to form his new team. We are good friends and he knows that he can count on my continued support as he goes about the process of putting together his team. We have had three very successful years together at Patrick Racing and I wish him the best of luck in the future," said Pat Patrick.

Fernandez Racing will be headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, and begin operations on Dec. 1. The first of the team's Reynard chassis also will be delivered that week, with testing to begin by mid-December.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Shinji Nakano , Tom Anderson , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing