INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 22, 2005) -- Motorsports veteran Morris Nunn and Mexican driving talent Adrian Fernandez today announced a partnership to contest the 89th running of the Indianapolis 500. The team will be known as Mo Nunn Fernandez...
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 22, 2005) -- Motorsports veteran Morris Nunn and Mexican driving talent Adrian Fernandez today announced a partnership to contest the 89th running of the Indianapolis 500. The team will be known as Mo Nunn Fernandez Racing. Fernandez will drive the #5 Honda-powered Panoz/Firestone entry with Investment Properties of America as the primary sponsor.
"I am thrilled that this program with Adrian has come to fruition," said Nunn, whose many accomplishments include an Indianapolis 500 victory in 1989. "We are going to one of the most prestigious races in the world with a powerhouse combination that includes the driving talents of Adrian, the proven Honda/Panoz combination and a progressive partner in Investment Properties of America. I don't think you could put together a better recipe for success."
Fernandez returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2004 after a nine-year absence. He qualified sixth in only his third IRL IndyCar® Series career start and finished seventh in the rain-shortened race -- the highest finishing position by a Mexican driver in the history of the Indianapolis 500.
"I am more than ready to get back in the saddle," said Fernandez, who has been focusing on his role as an IndyCar Series team owner of late. "This is a great opportunity to be able to partner with Morris, who I have known and respected for a long time, and put together a competitive program with Honda and with the support of Investment Properties of America.
"This team will be run alongside Super Aguri Fernandez Racing and Delphi Fernandez Racing, and I am really looking forward to working with both Kosuke [Matsuura] and Scott [Sharp] as teammates. Kosuke and I were incredibly strong throughout the month of May last year, and Scott has already proven he knows how to win and did a great job in Phoenix this past weekend. One of my goals has always been to win the Indianapolis 500 -- as a driver or as an owner -- and between the three of us, I think that goal can be reached this May."
Indianapolis-based Investment Properties of America (IPofA) is a commercial real estate investment company which acquires commercial income properties and transforms them into stable, income-producing assets for investors of all sizes. The company operates as a 1031 Tenant-in-Common real estate sponsor which offers an alternative to sole ownership of real estate in that investors share in the ownership of an entire property.
"We couldn't be happier with this opportunity to partner with Morris and Adrian for the Indianapolis 500," said Edward Okun, President and CEO of Investment Properties of America. "I am passionate about auto racing and am thrilled to align IPofA and our success in real estate with two proven winners. It is an expansion of our involvement within the IndyCar Series and the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing program, and we are looking forward to giving our business associates a lot to cheer about this May."
Experienced team manager Peter Parrott will head the Mo Nunn Fernandez Racing program. Parrott was a long-time member of Team Penske, holding various roles including chief mechanic, prior to joining Mo Nunn Racing. Noted race engineer John Ward, who serves as co-race engineer alongside Chris Finch for the #8 Delphi machine piloted by Sharp, will handle engineering duties for Fernandez.
Morris Nunn's impressive motorsports career spans more than 30 years as a driver, car builder, race engineer and team owner in a variety of formulas including Formula 3, Formula One, CART and IndyCar Series competition. After engineering Jimmy Vasser, Alex Zanardi and Juan Montoya to four consecutive championships for Target Chip Ganassi Racing (1996 - 1999), Nunn founded Mo Nunn Racing in 1999. The team joined the IndyCar Series in 2002, and has fielded entries for Tony Kanaan, Felipe Giaffone and Tora Takagi.
Adrian Fernandez, 41, of Mexico City, boasts an extensive resume at the top levels of open-wheel competition that includes 194 career starts, 11 wins and 25 podiums. He began carrying the dual moniker of owner/driver in 2001, when he teamed with motorsports veteran Tom Anderson to launch Fernandez Racing. The team has grown to include Super Aguri Fernandez Racing and Delphi Fernandez Racing, both of which compete in the IndyCar Series with drivers Kosuke Matsuura and Scott Sharp respectively.
In 2004, Fernandez entered his first season of IndyCar Series competition and won three of the final six races (Kentucky, Chicagoland and Fontana). Fernandez finished fifth in the final point standings on the heels of six top-five and 12 top-10 finishes.
The 89th Indianapolis 500 will be held on May 29. Opening day is May 8, with practice beginning May 10.