CHAMPCAR/CART: Vancouver: Fern?ndez Racing preview

Fernández and Nakano Looking Forward to Round Two of Canadian Triple Crown Adrián Fernández has fond memories of Canada having claimed podium finishes in both Vancouver and Toronto as well as his first career Champ Car win. This weekend he ...

Fernández and Nakano Looking Forward to Round Two of Canadian Triple Crown

Adrián Fernández has fond memories of Canada having claimed podium finishes in both Vancouver and Toronto as well as his first career Champ Car win. This weekend he hopes to add another mark, and better his third-place finish of 2000 on the challenging 12-turn, 1.781-mile Vancouver street circuit. Fernández, who claimed his last top-three finish at Milwaukee five races ago, is anxious to return to Victory Circle.

Shinji Nakano is knocking at the door of his first Champ Car career podium finish. Recording points-paying drives in the past four events, including a career-best fourth-place finish in Toronto, Nakano has momentum on his side. The highest finish for a Japanese driver in Champ Car competition to date is fourth, a record Nakano is looking to break.

Adrián Fernández, Owner/Driver -- #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:

* Will be making his eighth Champ Car appearance at Vancouver
* Recorded his best finish of third at Vancouver in 2000 after starting 15th
* Claimed his best starting position of 10th at Vancouver last year, but retired after contact on Lap 79
* Missed the 1999 race due to a broken right wrist from a race practice accident at Detroit
* Finished ninth (Toronto) and 10th (Long Beach) on the two street course events held to date this year

On Vancouver: "The atmosphere around the track and the fans in Vancouver are great. A lot of people look forward to this race, and it is always an exciting weekend. In terms of the track itself, the challenge is the surface. Normally it is a very low-grip track, so it is sometimes difficult to find a good setup for Vancouver because of those characteristics. It has one very fast and very long straight in the back but it is also a very tight track, especially coming in towards the pits, and you really need a car that can turn. Basically it is a matter of finding grip. Last year we had a decent race until I was punted out. I am looking forward to this weekend, and to starting to have the consistency that we need."

FAST FACTS: Will be making his 155th Champ Car career start--- only owner/driver in current Champ Car field---tied for fourth among active drivers in career wins with seven--- is ranked 10th in CART all-time career starts--- currently sits 14th in the championship with 34 points--- has 47 career street course starts to his credit, claiming 23 top-10 finishes and seven podiums--- three of his seven Champ Car career wins were on road/street circuits ^Ö Australia (2000), Mid-Ohio (1998) and Toronto (1996).

Shinji Nakano, Driver -- #52 Alpine/Mitsuba Honda/Lola/Bridgestone:

* Will be making his third Champ Car appearance at Vancouver * Finished 14th at Vancouver last year after starting 24th * Recorded his career-best Champ Car finish -- fourth in Toronto ^Ö at the last street course race * Has finished in the points the past four events

On Vancouver: "The city is beautiful. I like the town and the atmosphere, and the people are great. Every year there are many, many people coming to watch the race. I saw a lot of Japanese people last year, and hopefully there will be more this year. There are also many Japanese restaurants, which is good for me.

"Vancouver is a complicated track. It is not easy because you have fast corners and very slow corners with a lot of variation in the different type of corners. It is very difficult to set up a car for this track. The circuit is pretty bumpy also and the setup [of the car] is going to be key. You have to have a good stable car. The track doesn't have a lot of grip compared to the other street circuits. Basically, on the street courses, I think we had a pretty good car in both Long Beach and Toronto. After [struggling at] Cleveland, we had a lot of discussions and we found several good points to make the car better. I think this will work for Vancouver. I think we can go back to the street circuits stronger than before, and I am looking forward to the race."

FAST FACTS: Will be making his 47th career Champ Car start --- has made 13 career street course starts, claiming six points-paying finishes--- is in his third season of Champ Car competition, and second year with Fernández Racing --- currently sits 16th in the championship with 31 points.

Fernandez Racing Team News:

Fernández Pit Stops in Denver Adrian Fernández will be making a pit stop in Denver, Colo., on Tuesday, July 23, for a media day to promote the inaugural Grand Prix of Denver ^Ö Round 14 of the CART FedEx Championship Series ^Ö slated for September 1. In addition to media activities, Fernández will be hosting media drives around part of the nine-turn, 1.65-mile temporary street circuit, including the long straightaway between Turns Four and Five where the Champ Cars are estimated to reach speeds of 180 mph. Fernández also will be visiting an inner city youth summer program held in conjunction with the Denver City School System.

Around Town Adrián Fernández will tee off at the Greg Moore Golf Classic at the Swan-e-set Bay Resort & Country Club on Wednesday, July 24. Fernández also will participate in the Molson Indy Vancouver Gala on Thursday evening, the major fundraiser for the Greg Moore Foundation, held at the Gotham Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar (on Seymour at Dunsmuir). Both Fernández and Shinji Nakano will take part in the Drivers' VIP Party hosted by Paul Tracy at The Commodore Ballroom on Granville Street on Friday night.

Trackside Adrián Fernández will join Mario Dominguez at the CART Winners Circle Fan Club Meeting to be held Saturday at 4:30 pm on the second floor of Science World. Fernández Racing Team Coordinator Jeff McComb will be part of the panel for the CART Fan Forum to be held Friday at 1:00 pm also at Science World.

"Players of the Week" Canadian Ivan Koldsgaard, shock technician for the team, Parts Purchasing Manager Nancy Cordero, and #52 Lead Mechanic David Janquart earned Fernández Racing "Players of the Week" bragging rights following the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland presented by US Bank.

The "Players of the Week" program was implemented by Fernández Racing Co-Owner and Managing Director Tom Anderson to acknowledge the efforts of individuals who contribute the most to the team's efforts during a race weekend. In addition to cash awards, recipients are automatically eligible for an end-of-season prize fund, which will be determined by accumulated votes.

Fernández Racing Team Stats Since entering the CART FedEx Championship Series in 2001, Fernández Racing, headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., has claimed two pole positions and three podiums, and has posted six top-five finishes and 15 top-10 finishes in 29 races contested to date. Fernández, Anderson and Don Halliday, the team's technical director and the race engineer for Fernández, are the team owners.


Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Adrian Fernandez , Paul Tracy , Shinji Nakano , Mario Dominguez , Tom Anderson , Greg Moore