Fernandez Hopes Third Time is a Charm at Motegi Adrian Fernandez will make his second IRL IndyCarÂ® career start on familiar ground as the series heads to Japan for the Bridgestone Indy Japan 300 this weekend. Fernandez is a two-time winner on...
Fernandez Hopes Third Time is a Charm at Motegi
Adrian Fernandez will make his second IRL IndyCar® career start on familiar ground as the series heads to Japan for the Bridgestone Indy Japan 300 this weekend. Fernandez is a two-time winner on the 1.5-mile Twin Ring Motegi circuit, scoring back-to-back wins in 1998 and 1999 in CART competition. Fernandez last competed on the oval in 2002. In five career starts, he recorded his best qualifying position of second in 1998.
Fernandez took his first laps in the #5 Quaker State/Telmex/Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone just over three weeks ago at the Indy 200 Copper World Classic. His IndyCar Series debut, however, was cut short as a result of a broken gearbox just after taking the green flag. Since that time, Fernandez has benefited from a full day of testing at Phoenix International Raceway on March 30.
Note: Fernandez Racing will be unveiling the new 2004 paint scheme of the #5 Quaker State/Telmex/Tecate Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone this weekend.
Adrian Fernandez, #5 Quaker State/Telmex/Tecate Panoz G
"I am very excited to go back to Japan. I have had a little more seat time now and I am looking forward to coming to grips with this car. Obviously, this is a big weekend for Honda and it would be great for a Honda driver to win this race. Even though we are still pretty new and catching up, we are going to do everything possible to do it. Hopefully, we can give everyone a big surprise in Japan and add to the memories we already have from there."
FAST FACTS: Will be making his second IRL IndyCar Series start-- qualified 13th for his IndyCar Series debut at Phoenix, but retired with a broken gearbox after taking the green flag-- has made five career starts at Motegi and recorded back-to-back wins in CART competition in 1998 and 1999-- best qualifying position at Motegi was second in 1998-- holds two additional career oval wins (Rio -- 2000 and Fontana -- 1999) and two pole positions (Milwaukee -- 2002, Michigan -- 1998)-- has made 65 career oval starts, posting 31 top-10 finishes and eight podiums-- 40 years old from Mexico City-- formed Fernandez Racing in the fall of 2000 with Tom Anderson.
Tom Anderson, Co-Owner/Managing Director:
"Adrian recently completed a test day at Phoenix which saw some incredible heat, so going to the cool mountains of Motegi this time of year will give him more downforce than what he had at Phoenix. I don't think anyone likes the Twin Ring Motegi circuit better than Adrian. He has had two wins there previously, so I know he is looking forward to going back and to attempting to give Honda its first win there as well. With some of the things that we have learned these past two weeks, I think we will be much more competitive than we were at Phoenix. I am looking forward to an enjoyable week in Japan."