In preparation for its second season in the American Le Mans Series, Lowe’s Fernandez Racing today confirmed its move to the Acura ARX-01b chassis next year in LMP2 class competition. The official entry - the No. 15 Lowe’s Acura ARX-01b - will once again be piloted by Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz, who recorded three podiums and six top-five results in 2007.
“What Acura has accomplished in their first season of the American Le Mans Series is remarkable,” said Fernandez. “They were strong out of the box with not only a brand new engine but the chassis as well. Expectations are even higher for next year with the amount of development work planned for the offseason. To become a full Acura effort is something that everyone at Lowe’s Fernandez Racing is really excited about because this will definitely help to take our program up to the next level.”
The Acura ARX-01b chassis is the latest version of the ARX-01a which was developed by Honda Performance Development (HPD) through a technical partnership with Wirth Research in England. The ARX-01a was campaigned by Andretti Green Racing and Highcroft Racing this season with the two teams combining for one win and seven podiums as well as an additional three top-five finishes in 12 events. All three Acura teams utilized the Acura LM V8 - a 3.4-liter, normally-aspirated V8 engine designed and developed at HPD - and Michelin tires.
“The opportunity to run an ARX chassis next season greatly adds to our resource base,” noted Tom Anderson, Team Co-Owner and Managing Director. “Not only will we benefit from the substantial development work by HPD, Wirth, and the AGR and Highcroft teams to date, we will be able to contribute to that database as we begin to operate as part of a three-car effort on all fronts.”
The Acura ARX is HPD’s first effort in race car design and development. The chassis made its debut in a 12-hour simulation run at Sebring International Raceway in February of this year.
“We are very pleased to have Lowe’s Fernandez Racing compete with our latest version of the Acura P2 chassis, the ARX-01b, in 2008,” added Robert Clarke, President of HPD. “As the assigned engine development team within Acura’s American Le Mans Series program, the Lowe’s Fernandez team worked well with our HPD engineers and contributed significantly to the development of the Acura LM V8 engine, our win in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and our perfect reliability record in our inaugural season in the series. Now, with our on-going Acura chassis development program with Wirth Research and the HPD staff, the Lowe’s Fernandez team will have the opportunity to work together with our other Acura teams on the new chassis as we prepare for a very competitive 2008 American Le Mans Series road racing campaign. We believe the combined communication and cooperation of all of our Acura teams will assist us in our quest for race victories and the 2008 P2 class championship.”
Lowe’s Fernandez Racing will begin testing the #15 Lowe’s Acura ARX-01b in January. The 2008 season opens March 15 with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
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