Fernandez confirms team set to close
|By Matt Beer||Sunday, October 11th 2009, 11:07 GMT|
Fernandez Racing has confirmed that yesterday's American Le Mans Series event at Laguna Seca was its final race.
The LMP2 champion team revealed last month that it was unlikely to have sufficient funding to compete in 2010, and having been unable to secure any new deals since then, the operation is now set to close its doors.
Drivers Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz bowed out on a high by winning the LMP2 class for a record-equalling eighth time this season, and coming within 0.6s of beating the De Ferran Acura to outright victory.
Co-owner Tom Anderson was delighted that the team had been so competitive to the end.
"The race came down to a fantastic finish tonight and I hope all the fans that braved the cool weather here enjoyed it as much as we did," he said.
"It is the kind of race that we will remember for a long time and it is unfortunate that it is the last one for the Lowe's Fernandez team. You are only as good as your last race and we can go out as winners."
Fernandez added that he was extremely proud of everything his team had achieved since its formation in 2001.
"I have to thank Luis for being a great team-mate, and this team. They are just tremendous," he said.
"I am very proud of them. They gave me the nine best years of my career. We won in every single series we competed. We had a fantastic sponsor in Lowe's and the support of Acura and Michelin. It has just been a great ride."
Anderson and Fernandez created the team as a Champ Car outfit in 2001, later adding an IndyCar Series arm in collaboration with Aguri Suzuki before making a full switch to the Indy Racing League's championship in 2004.
Fernandez had to drop out of single seaters due to a lack of sponsorship at the end of 2006, but by that time the team was already active in sportscars, having started in Grand-Am before becoming part of Acura's ALMS project.