Fernandez Racing to enter CART in 2001

Adrian Fernandez has confirmed that he will be setting up his own team for the 2001 CART Championship Series

Fernandez Racing to enter CART in 2001

Fernandez Racing will run a two-car team of Reynard-Hondas for Fernandez himself and ex-Walker Racing driver Shinji Nakano. Former Ganassi managing director Tom Anderson will leave the reigning champion team to become co-owner of the new outfit.

Sponsorship will mostly come from Fernandez's current Mexican backers Tecate, Quaker State and Telmex.

"This is the great step forward in my career, a way for me to extend my career beyond my years as a driver," Fernandez said. "But it was not a simple decision by any means. I had my best seasons so far with Patrick Racing and I will always be grateful for their hard work and support. There is no doubt that starting my own team will be a great challenge, but it is one I look forward to meeting."

Anderson added that the opportunity to create a brand new team was enough to convince him to leave four-time champion squad Target Chip Ganassi Racing.

"This is a fantastic challenge," he said. "The chance to help build up a team from scratch is a rare opportunity, and one I welcome. It took a great deal of planning and preparation just to get to this point. Now the real work begins."

Fernandez could clinch his first CART title in this afternoon's Marlboro 500. He is just six points behind series leader Gil de Ferran going into the season finale, but whilst his rival is on pole for the race, Fernandez was only able to qualify 14th in his Patrick Racing Reynard-Ford.

The Mexican's new venture means that he will become the first CART driver to own the team he drives for since Bobby Rahal retired from driving at the end of the 1998 season.

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