Lowe's Fernandez Racing has announced the signing of Michel Jourdain Jr for the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, with the 32-year-old set to make his ALMS debut in the #15 Acura.
Jourdain will also race for the team in the two endurance events on the 2009 calendar as he joins team boss Adrian Fernandez in making the move into sportscars following a career focused mainly on single-seaters.
The Mexican made over 150 starts in the Champ Car World Series and has past experience of sportscar competition having contested a number of Grand Am races during his career to date.
“This weekend for me is many things,” he said. “I am very, very excited to race in the ALMS. The Petit Le Mans, in a short time, has become a classic race and to do it with Adrian and Luis is so great. We have been friends for so many years and to have this opportunity is fantastic. I really enjoy endurance racing and when it is with good friends, it is even better.
“The race track is very difficult. It has so many blind spots and it is tough to learn but I think I am getting better at it. Adapting to the car is not easy but, again, I think I am getting better at it. It is a very fast car in the fast corners – so, so quick. In talking to Scott Dixon, it's amazing because it is so much faster than an Indy car or anything that we have driven before in the fast corners. Hopefully, we can give Lowe's and Acura a win. Adrian and Luis have been so close many times this year. I wish it had happened before so there wasn't so much pressure, but I would love to be part of the first win of the season.”
The Lowe's Fernandez squad will hope for more luck than in last season's Petit Le Mans, when Diaz and Fernandez were forced out with six hours remaining following damage sustained in an earlier accident.
“This is becoming a favorite race track for the drivers, and the race itself brings a lot of good competition from around the world – not just the American Le Mans Series – and also a lot of good drivers and former champions like Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan just to mention a few,” Fernandez said. “The level of competition is really, really high. Obviously, you have the different classes to compete with which makes it very interesting and makes the competition quite tough because of the speed differences.
“This track is particularly challenging because it is very fast. It is a tough, physical race track for everyone. This race is a good way for a lot of drivers that are not racing or their series are over to come and keep up their miles. And it is becoming more and more popular with the fans. Every year it is getting better and better. This track has great spectator viewing areas where you can see a lot of the race track. Our test this past weekend went well. We gave Michel a lot of miles and he is doing very well.”