FernÃ¡ndez ready for challenges of EuroSpeedway Round Five of the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford marks a return to the state-of-the-art EuroSpeedway Lausitz as the German 500 gets underway this weekend. Located...
Fernández ready for challenges of EuroSpeedway
Round Five of the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford marks a return to the state-of-the-art EuroSpeedway Lausitz as the German 500 gets underway this weekend. Located an hour south of Berlin, the circuit will host the first oval race of the 2003 schedule with practice and qualifying for the two-day venue beginning this Saturday.
It has been eight months since Adrian Fernandez last drove on an oval* [Rockingham, England - September 2002], and Champ Car's only competing owner/driver is looking forward to finishing CART's European leg on a high note after a difficult weekend at Brands Hatch on May 5 [Fernandez started sixth and finished 12th].
*Fernandez missed the 2002 CART race at California Speedway in November due to injury.
Adrian Fernandez , Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:
* Will be making his second appearance at EuroSpeedway Lausitz
* Started 17th at Germany in 2001, retiring from the race with an engine problem on Lap 121
* Has four Champ Car career oval wins to his credit - Rio (2000), Japan (1999/1998) and Fontana (1999)
* Career best oval start was pole position at Milwaukee (2002) and Michigan (1998)
* Currently sits fourth in the championship standings with 29 points
"This is a fantastic race track and facility, and the fans are great. When we were here in 2001, it was a very emotional time with everything that was happening back in the States and here. I am really looking forward to seeing Alex [Zanardi] this weekend, and it will be very special to see him finish his laps from the race two years ago.
"With the aero [aerodynamic] package that we will be running, it will be an interesting race. I think there will be close racing and it is definitely going to be more competitive. Hopefully we will be in a position to bank some more points. We had a good car at Brands Hatch but it just wasn't our day. It would be great to end our European trip on the podium."
FAST FACTS: Will be making his 165th Champ Car career start-- recorded two top-five finishes in four rounds of 2003 competition to date - second at Long Beach and fourth in Monterrey, Mexico-- has qualified seventh or better in each race this year, claiming his best starting position of third at St. Petersburg-- has finished half (48%) of his 62 Champ Car career oval starts in the top 10-- enters his 11th season of Champ Car competition with seven career wins and three pole positions-- thirty-seven years old from Mexico City-- formed Fernandez Racing in the fall of 2000 with Tom Anderson-- only competing owner/driver in the series-- is the third most-winning driver in the current Champ Car field-- ranked 11th in CART all-time career starts-- has 20 Champ Car career podiums to his credit-- last win was at Australia in 2000-- last pole position was at Milwaukee in 2002-- looking for his first win as an owner/driver-- the last win by an owner/driver was in 1992 when Bobby Rahal won at Nazareth.
Fernandez Racing Race Engineer David Watson estimates top speeds of 194 mph and minimum speeds of 184 mph around the 2.023-mile tri-oval. New aerodynamic rules were implemented for Brands Hatch and EuroSpeedway, whereby what is qualified at Brands Hatch is raced at EuroSpeedway Lausitz. Watson estimates that drivers will be flat [no lifting] around the circuit with no shifting. With the five degrees of banking, drivers will pull 3.5 Lateral G-force in the corners.
For more information, please visit www.fernandezracing.net. For additional information on the Champ Car World Series, please visit www.champcarworldseries.com.