Acura Project Gets Underway
Acura's 2007 American Le Mans Series project began in earnest at Arizona's Firebird International Raceway on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Lowe's Fernandez Racing and team owner Adrian Fernandez completed more than 250 trouble-free miles of testing, driving the team’s Lola B05/40 chassis, fitted with the new Acura LM V-8 engine.

"This test is the next step in the fulfillment of the project that will make Honda Performance Development a full-fledged, self-sufficient Research and Development company," said Robert Clarke, president of HPD. "The initial step was to build the infrastructure and facilities to support the Acura effort, and the second was to actually build the American Le Mans Series engine.

"We've had the engine on the dynamometer for more than three months, so we expected it to run reliably during the test, although we weren't 100 percent certain what would happen when the engine and chassis were put together in a single package."

Fernandez completed a total of 102 laps on Tuesday, with no mechanical problems despite very high ambient temperatures: his best lap was a 48.7, which came down to a 47.2 on day two.

“The fact that the test has gone so smoothly and successfully is a tribute to everyone involved with the program and a great source of pride as well," added Robert Clarke.

"I can't remember a first test with a brand-new package ever going this well," said Adrian Fernandez. "Everyone at Acura and Lowe's Fernandez Racing just did a tremendous job in preparing this car. I can't say enough. All their hard work got us off to a great start, and also allowed us to begin our testing program for next year early.

"My first laps in the car were unbelievable. The sound of the engine, the effortless steering, the brakes, it was a tremendous experience. The car is fast! It felt great from the start, and I was amazed at how quickly we were able to make strides to continually get the car better and better. I'm thrilled that Lowe's Fernandez Racing is a partner with Acura in this project, and extremely encouraged and excited for our first season in the American Le Mans Series next year."

Fernandez now heads to Miller Motorsports Park, for his last race in the Grand Am Rolex Series.


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