Lowe's Fernandez Racing announced today it will race an Acura-powered Lola in the 2007 American Le Mans Series in Acura's factory LMP2 class competition program.

The Lowe's Fernandez Racing Acura Lola will make its competition debut at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March, 2007, along with two other Acura-powered LMP2 prototype teams, racing against full factory and manufacturer-supported efforts from Audi, Porsche and Mazda, and a variety of well-equipped independent teams.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for Lowe's Fernandez Racing," said owner-driver Adrian Fernandez. "I have a long association with the Honda family. When Robert Clarke [president of Honda Performance Development] asked if we wanted to be part of this opportunity, Lowe's Fernandez Racing jumped at the chance. My first major open-wheel win was with Honda power back in 1996. To be able to join them in this new endeavor a decade later means a lot to me personally. Honda has been tremendously successful in their open-wheel programs, and everyone at Lowe's Fernandez Racing is looking forward to helping them reach that level of achievement with Acura in ALMS."

"This was a natural extension of our great affiliation with Honda and everyone at HPD [Honda Performance Development]," added owner and managing director Tom Anderson, whose 10-year relationship with the manufacturer includes four series championships. "As a result of Honda's determination to be successful, they recently celebrated their 100th open-wheel race victory and Adrian and I are proud to be a part of that remarkable number. Sports car racing was a new challenge for us this year, and we proved our competitiveness on more than one occasion. We look forward to building on our experience and continuing as part of the Acura program as we make our debut in the American Le Mans Series."

Clarke also noted that its long association with Fernandez Racing played a major role in its decision to invite Lowe's Fernandez Racing to join its ALMS effort.

"Adrian Fernandez, Tom Anderson and their team have been an integral part of both our IndyCar and CART racing programs," Clarke said. "With Acura's entry in the American Le Mans Series, it is entirely appropriate that we continue our relationship with the Fernandez organization in our newest racing program."

Fernandez Racing currently fields two teams in the IndyCar Series under the Delphi Fernandez Racing and Super Aguri Fernandez Racing banners. In 2006, Fernandez Racing and Lowe's initiated a sports car racing program, taking part in the Grand Am Rolex Series. To date, Fernandez and Brazilian Mario Haberfeld have won the qualifying race at Phoenix in May and the Mid-Ohio race in June, and claimed three additional top-eight finishes in their debut season.

Lowe's officials said this commitment to sports car racing comes on top of its extensive sponsorship of NASCAR teams and venues.

"Lowe's has enjoyed its expansion into sports car racing because it has exposed us to a whole new world of race fans," said Bob Gfeller, senior vice president of marketing and advertising at Lowe's. "Our investment in sports car racing is also an important part of our sports marketing initiative. Adrian is a great spokesman for Lowe's we are glad to follow him to the ALMS. We think this move will excite our employees and customers."

Fernandez realizes he will have a busy schedule before the first race.

"We have a lot of work to do," said Fernandez. "We plan to take delivery of our Lola later this month and will prepare it for Acura's first test at the end of August. It's going to be a pretty busy few months getting ready for Sebring, but I am confident the Lowe's Fernandez Acura Lola will be ready."

For more information, please visit www.americanlemans.com
Adrian Fernandez.
(Picture americanlemans.com)