2008 Acura American Le Mans Series Drivers

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Bryan Herta

Personal

Started karting at age 12... is a founder of the Snap-On Stars of Karting presented by the Indy Racing League... enjoys jet skiing, mountain biking, karting, sport fishing, golf and other outdoor activities... favorite channels on XM Satellite Radio include: "Top 20 on 20," "XM Comedy 150" and "80's on 8."... a fan and occasional singer of alternative rock, he has performed with Kenny Brack and the Subwoofers... studied economics at the University of California-Irvine and Ohio State University.

Career Highlights

  • Recorded a sensational class win with Tony Kanaan and Dario Franchitti in Acura's first sports-car race at the 2007 Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring in the XM Satellite Acura ARX-01a sports car for Andretti Green Racing
  • Finished second with Marino Franchitti at the Lone Star Grand Prix in 2007
  • Placed third with Marino Franchitti at the 2007 Grand Prix of Mosport
  • Recorded second career IndyCar Series win after starting on the pole and leading 159 laps at Michigan in 2005
  • Finished third in the 2005 Indianapolis 500 after starting 18th
  • Drove in two events for Team USA in the 2005 A1 Grand Prix
  • Finished ninth in the 2004 IndyCar Series championship
  • Finished fourth in the 2004 running of the Indianapolis 500 after starting 23rd
  • Earned first career IndyCar Series win in 2003 at Kansas, in only his third series start
  • Scored two career Champ Car victories, both at Laguna Seca (1998-1999)
  • Captured three consecutive Champ Car poles at Laguna Seca (1997-1999)
  • Finished a career-best eighth in the Champ Car Series Championship twice (1996, 1998)
  • Won the 1993 Dayton Indy Lights Championship
  • Captured the 1991 Barber Saab Pro Series title
  • Dominated the 1989 Skip Barber Formula Ford series, winning 14 of 18 events

Christian Fittipaldi

Personal

Son of former Brazil racer Wilson Fittipaldi and nephew of two-time Formula One champion and Indy 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi... began his racing career at age 10 in karting in Brazil... after winning the Formula 3000 championship, competed in Formula One for three years (1992-94)... moved to the United States in 1995 to race in the Champ Car openwheel series... teamed with current AGR team owner Michael Andretti to race on the famed Newman/Haas CART squad... named Rookie of the Year in the 1995 Indy 500... has raced in NASCAR and Grand-Am series in recent years... won the 2004 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.

Career Highlights

  • Joined the Andretti Green Racing team in 2008 to team with Bryan Herta in the No. 26 XM Satellite Acura ARX-01b sports car in the American Le Mans Series
  • Drove the Crown Royal sports car for Cheever Racing in 2006 and 2007 in the Grand-Am Series
  • Won the 2005 Grand-Am event at Phoenix
  • Won the prestigious Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2004
  • Drove in NASCAR from 2001 to 2003, with Petty Enterprises
  • In a successful Champ Car open-wheel career, scored two wins, at Road America and California
  • Started 134 races in Champ Car, mostly with the Newman/Haas team
  • Recorded 20 podium finishes in his Champ Car career
  • Finished second in his first Indy 500 start in 1995, named Rookie of the Year
  • Drove three years in Formula One with the Minardi and Arrows teams
  • Won the 1991 Formula 3000 drivers' championship
  • Captured the 1990 South American Formula 3 championship
  • Scored the 1989 Brazilian Formula 3 title

Adrian Fernandez

Personal

Began career in motocross before moving to four wheels and his first auto race, the 24 Hours of Mexico... traveled to Europe to race open-wheel cars before coming to North America to compete in 1992... enjoyed a 12-year career at the top levels of open-wheel competition prior to moving to sports cars... ranked as one of Mexico's top athletes and celebrities ... has won numerous awards including "Athlete of the Year" in Mexico... recognized as one of the 300 most influential people in Mexico by a national magazine... became a team owner in 2000 with partner and racing veteran Tom Anderson... the team has won in Champ Car, IndyCar and Grand-Am competition.

Career Highlights

  • Debuted the Lowe's Fernandez Racing team in the American Le Mans Series in 2007, driving with Luis Diaz in the Lowe's Acura Lola in the LMP2 class
  • Scored a second place in the legendary Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring in the Lowe's team's initial race in 2007
  • Co-drove with Diaz to podium finishes at Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca in 2007
  • Finished fourth in the 2007 ALMS LMP2 team point standings
  • Teamed with Mario Haberfield to capture the first sports-car victory for Lowe's Fernandez Racing in the Grand-American Rolex Series race at Mid-Ohio in 2006
  • Recorded five top-five finishes in his first season in the Grand-Am series in 2006
  • Has made eight NASCAR Busch Series starts, driving for Team Lowe's Racing and Hendrick Motorsports in 2005 and 2006
  • Competed in North American openwheel racing for 12 years in the IndyCar and Champ Car series.
  • Won three IndyCar races and finished fifth in the series championship in 2004
  • In 11 seasons in Champ Car racing (1993-2003), won eight races, four pole positions and claimed 21 podium finishes in 178 starts
  • Finished second in the Champ Car series championship in 2000
  • Earned Rookie of the Year honors in 1992 Indy Lights series
  • Won the Formula 3 title in Mexico in 1991
  • Placed fifth in the RAC British Formula Ford 1600 Championship in 1989
  • Raced and worked as a mechanic at famed Brands Hatch circuit in England
  • Earned Rookie of the Year and placed second in Mexican Formula K Series
  • Two-time Mexican Formula Vee Series champion (1983-84)
  • Named Rookie of the Year in Mexican Formula Vee Series in 1982

Luis Diaz

Personal

Has the nickname Chapulin, which means "grasshopper" in Spanish... began racing karts at age 12... won various national karting championships in Mexico to establish himself as one of Mexico's brightest young racing talents... graduated to auto racing at age 18 in Mexico... a rising star in open-wheel competition, moved to the sports-car ranks in 2004, claiming eight wins over the past three years... was named "Driver of the Year" in Mexico in 2006.

Career Highlights

  • Proved to be a solid contender in his initial season in the American Le Mans Series in 2007
  • Co-drove with Adrian Fernandez in the Lowe's Fernandez Racing Acura Lola sports car in the LMP2 class in the 2007 American Le Mans Series
  • In his ALMS debut, finished second in LMP2 at the legendary Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, helping Acura to a 1-2-4 finish
  • Recorded podium finishes with Fernandez at Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca in 2007
  • Finished fourth in the 2007 ALMS LMP2 team point standings
  • Driving the Chip Ganassi prototype, teamed with Scott Pruett to win the Grand-American Rolex team championship in 2006 and place second in the drivers' championship
  • Finished third in laps led by drivers in the Rolex Series in 2006
  • Has competed in the A1 Grand Prix Series representing his native Mexico
  • Served as a test driver for Fernandez Racing's Champ Car effort in 2003
  • Made his Champ Car debut at Mexico City in 2002, subbing for Fernandez
  • Finished fourth in the 2002 Formula Atlantic series with two wins
  • Competed two seasons in Dayton Indy Lights series in 2000 and 2001
  • Won the Rookie of the Year awards in the 1999 Mexico Indy Lights Championship
  • Captured the Mexican Formula 3 Championship in 1998
  • Named Rookie of the Year in the Mexican Formula 3 series in 1997
  • Won numerous national karting titles, including Super 100cc national championship and Category A national championship

David Brabham

Personal

Son of Sir Jack Brabham, past Formula One champion, and younger brother of former IMSA and IndyCar star Geoff Brabham... born in England but grew up in Australia and is an Australian citizen... has lived in the United States previously... drove for two different Formula One teams in his career with Brabham (1990) and Simtek (1994)... began his racing career in 1983 in a 100cc sprint kart in Australia... avid soccer player and follows English Premier League, including Manchester United... other interests include cricket, running, tennis and basketball.

Career Highlights

  • Drove in all 12 2007 American Le Mans Series races for Highcroft Racing in the Acura ARX-01a sports car in the LMP2 class
  • Recorded an overall pole position at the Lone Star Grand Prix in Houston, Acura's second overall pole of the 2007 ALMS season
  • Scored four podium finishes in LMP2 in 2007 in the Highcroft Acura ARX- 01a
  • Finished third in the 2007 LMP2 team point standings with co-driver Stefan Johansson
  • Only American Le Mans Series driver to win poles in all four classes during his career
  • Won the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans in the GT1 class for Aston Martin
  • Captured the GT1 division in the 2006 12 Hours of Sebring, driving a Panoz
  • Won the GT1 class at the 2005 12 Hours of Sebring, driving an Aston Martin
  • Has won 12 ALMS races, including seven LMP1 overall victories
  • Won classes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Petit Le Mans and Rolex 24
  • Captured Australia's biggest race, the Bathhurst 1000, in 1997 with brother Geoff
  • Has started 10 Formula One races
  • Competed in Formula 3000 and Formula Three in Europe
  • Scored victory in the Rallycross event at Brands Hatch in 1993
  • Won the 1991 24 Hours of Spa in Belgium
  • Captured the 1989 British Formula Three championship
  • Won the prestigious Macau Grand Prix and defeated Michael Schumacher
  • Earned the 1987 Australian Gold Star Formula 2 title in 1987

Scott Sharp

Personal

Grew up in auto racing as his father, Bob, was a six-time SCCA national champion and team owner for the Trans-Am cars driven by Paul Newman... began his racing career at age eight in karting... at age 18, drove his father's Nissan sedan to the SCCA GT-2 national title at Road Atlanta... one of the top marketers in motorsports, Sharp brought Patron Tequila to racing.... competes in his first full season in the American Le Mans Series after a successful open-wheel racing career... described as a fitness fanatic, Sharp spent hours in the gym working to extend his longevity in the demanding sport... also enjoys video games, action moves and spending time with his family.

Career Highlights

  • Co-drives the No. 9 Patron Acura ARX-01b sports car for Patron Highcroft Racing in the LMP2 class in the 2008 American Le Mans Series.
  • Holds the mark for the most starts by a driver in the IndyCar Series (153)
  • Co-champion in the 1996 IRL IndyCar Series
  • Won nine IndyCar races and six IndyCar pole positions
  • Won IndyCar races in seven consecutive seasons
  • Won $10.3 million in his IRL career
  • Won the pole position at the 2001 Indianapolis 500
  • Recorded a sixth-place finish in 2007 Indy 500, his best Indy finish
  • Entered open-wheel racing in 1993 with Bettenhausen Motorsports
  • Competed in his first Indy 500 in 1994 for Pac West Racing
  • Won the 1996 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in Riley & Scott car
  • Captured the 1991 SCCA Trans-Am series championship with six race wins
  • Won his second SCCA Trans-Am title in 1993 with six race victories
  • Earned his first Trans-Am victory at Detroit in 1990
  • Won three consecutive SCCA National Championships, 1986-88
  • Won his first SCCA title in 1986 in GT-2, driving the same Nissan 280Z that his father Bob had driven to a national championship 15 years earlier

Gil De Ferran

Personal

Returns to the cockpit for the first time since October, 2003 when he won the IndyCar season finale at Texas... co-driver and team owner of the Acura ARX- 01b in the American Le Mans Series... served as Sporting Director for the BAR Honda Formula One team from 2005 to 2007... won the 2003 Indy 500, driving for Team Penske ... won the 2000 and 2001 Champ Car World Series driving championship ... born to Brazilian parents in Paris, as his father was a mechanical engineer for Willys of Brazil... grew up in Sao Paulo, Brazil... inspired by the success of fellow Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi, began racing at age 14 in a gokart... attended Mauá Engineering Institute for three years... after attending college, moved to England to race professionally in 1988... captured the British Formula Three Championship in 1992, winning seven races... drove for Paul Stewart Racing's Formula 3000 team in 1993 and 1994... moved to the United States in 1995 to drive Jim Hall's open-wheel car in the CART Champ Car World Series.

Career Highlights

  • Debuts the de Ferran Acura ARX-01b sports car in the LMP2 class in the American Le Mans Series in 2008
  • Returns to driving a race car for the first time since announcing his retirement after winning his final race, at Texas Motor Speedway in October, 2003
  • Finished second in the 2003 IRL IndyCar Series driving championship for Team Penske
  • Won the 2003 Indianapolis 500
  • Won five races in his two full seasons in IRL IndyCar Series
  • Finished second to teammate Helio Castroneves in the 2001 Indy 500
  • Captured the 2000 and 2001 CART Champ Car World Series driving championships
  • Recorded the fastest official closed-course qualifying lap in U.S. racing history with a speed of 241.428 m.p.h. at California Speedway in 2001
  • In seven years in Champ Car, drove to seven wins, including Team Penske's 100th career open-wheel win at Nazareth, Pa., in 2001
  • His analytical approach has earned him comparisons to Mark Donohue, Penske's first Indy 500 winner
  • Finished second to Alex Zanardi in the 1997 Champ Car driving championship
  • Named Champ Car Rookie of the Year in 1995 and won the final race of the season at Monterey, Calif., driving for racing legend Jim Hall
  • Drove for Paul Stewart Racing in Formula 3000 in Europe
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