January 4, 1985 |
São Paulo, São Paulo State (Brazil)
|FIA World Endurance Championship career|
|Current team||Aston Martin Racing|
Fernando Rees (born January 4, 1985 in São Paulo, Brazil) is a Brazilian racecar driver. He started his career racing with go-karts back in 1993 at age 8. Fernando made his single-seater's debut in 2001, his endurance racing debut in 2007, and has recently competed in the most celebrated international racing championships. Rees currently has over 20 years of racing experience and is known as a quick and competitive driver in today's advanced race cars.
Single-Seater's Years (2001 - 2006)
In late 2003, Fernando made a good impression to Mercedes-Benz in a private test of the German manufacturer in the Portuguese circuit of Estoril. On December 11, 2003, Mercedes-Benz had organized a Formula 3 test among its official client teams of the Formula 3 Euroseries. Only six drivers were selected to take part in the test: Fernando Rees, Robert Kubica, Jamie Green, Bruno Spengler, Alexandre Premat and Adrian Sutil. In the single test day, Fernando topped the time sheets driving the ASM Mercedes-Benz car. Later in the same year, Ron Dennis picked the ASM Mercedes-Benz team for Lewis Hamilton to drive in the upcoming Formula 3 Euroseries championship, and Fernando was forced to look elsewhere to compete.
After four years competing in the major single-seater categories in Europe (2001–2005), and having proved himself driving for the low budget team Interwetten.com in World Series by Renault during its 2005 season, Fernando was awarded a test in the renowned Italian dream Draco Racing in the winter of that same year. With more than 30 drivers on track, including 2005 season champion Robert Kubica, Rees lead the field in the demanding track of Valencia, with more than half a second gap to Pastor Maldonado, who emerged second. The test opened new doors for the Brazilian driver, and 2006 was a promising year.
But in early 2006, at the Italian circuit of Monza, Fernando was unfortunately involved in a shunt during a Formula 3000 International Masters test day, under heavy rain, and was seriously injured. Fernando had two broken vertebrae, three compressed vertebrae, a broken ankle, and other excoriations in both legs. As a consequence, Rees was away from motor racing for a period of 18 months - of which 12 months were spent under serious immobilization, and the remaining 6 months with continuous physiotherapy sessions.
Endurance Racing Years (2007 - 2014)
With his convalescence complete, Fernando made his sportscar debut in the last Le Mans Series event of 2007, the Mil Milhas of Interlagos. Racing for Larbre Compétition with an Aston Martin DBR9, together with drivers Roland Berville, Gregor Fisken and Steve Zacchia, Fernando took a clear win in the GT1 class after almost nine hours of racing. It was the perfect comeback, and Fernando decided to remain in the Le Mans Series for the following season.
Fernando made his debut in the LMP2 class of the Le Mans Series in the second round of the 2008 championship, in Monza. Returning to the place of his huge accident back in 2006 for the first time, Fernando had a strong pace racing for the Barazi-Epsilon team alongside drivers Juan Barazi and the experienced Michael Vergers. Fernando Rees had taken over from Juan Barazi for the second stint in the race, and was immediately quick, recording the car's fastest lap in the race weekend. An "ever-improving" Fernando got progressively quicker during the 2008 Le Mans Series season, becoming recognized as the fastest driver in the team. But a "black cat" surrounded the Barazi-Epsilon team during the 2008 season. With starting positions between second and fourth during the whole season, mechanical problems (in Spa-Francorchamps) and racing accidents (two by Michael Vergers in Barcelona and Monza, and two by Juan Barazi in Nurburgring and Silverstone) resulted in a frustrating season with the team's best result an eighth place in Nurburgring. The results clearly did not represent the potential of the team.
In 2009, Fernando signed once again with the Barazi-Epsilon team in the LMP2 class of the Le Mans Series. For this season, Barazi-Epsilon decided to run a two-drivers team, with Rees and Juan Barazi. But soon ater the second race of the championship, in Spa-Francorchamps, the team announced its retirement from the 2009 Le Mans Series championship because of financial problems. Fernando was left without a team to race for the remaining season of 2009.
In 2010 Fernando returned to Larbre Compétition in the Le Mans Series, the same team with which he won the Interlagos round of the championship in 2007 - at that time, driving an Aston Martin DBR9. In 2010, after wins in the opening event at Paul Ricard, at the Algarve, and Hungaroring, and a fourth place in Spa-Francorchamps, Larbre Compétition secured the Team's Championship with its Saleen S7-R in the GT1 category. Fernando went on to win his third race in the 2010 championship at Silverstone, in the closure of the season. Larbre Compétition also won the 2010 edition of the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.
After a brief hiatus in 2011, Fernando signed with Larbre Compétition for the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2012. Fernando drove the team's #50 Corvette in the GT-Am category, replacing Pedro Lamy after the initial round of the championship at Sebring. Alongside his team mates Pedro Lamy, Julien Canal, and Patrick Bornhauser, Fernando helped Larbre Compétition to win the world championship in the new FIA endurance series.
In 2013, Fernando signed once more with Larbre Compétition for the second season of the FIA World Endurance Championship. Again, the team entered the #50 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R in the GT-Am category. With the same victorious drivers of 2012, the team attempted to defend their world title. After two consecutive podiums in the opening events in Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps, from round three the performance of the Corvette became evidently uncompetitive, due to serious Balance of Performance penalties enforced as a result of winning the 2012 world championship. After numerous formal complains by Larbre Compétition, approaching the season's end the regulations were finally changed and the Balance of Performance corrected. Immediately after, in the Fuji round, the team made a comeback setting P2 on Qualifying. In the final rounds of the season the team was once again competitive. However, it was too late, having missed 6 out of 8 rounds penalized by the technical regulations. The situation drove Larbre Compétition to quit the FIA World Endurance Championship for the following season.
Racing Career Stats
- 2012: FIA World Endurance Championship (Team - Larbre Compétition)
- 4 races, best start 2nd (Bahrain, Race 6); best race result 1st (Interlagos, Race 5)
- 2010: Le Mans Series (Team - Larbre Compétition)
- 4 races, best start 1st (Hungaroring, Race 4; Silverstone, Race 5); best race result 1st (Algarve, Race 3; Hungaroring, Race 4; Silverstone, Race 5)
- 2009: Le Mans Series (Team - Barazi-Epsilon)
- 1 race, best start 5th (Spa-Francorchamps, Race 2); best race result 4th (Spa-Francorchamps, Race 2)
- 2008: Le Mans Series (Team - Barazi-Epsilon)
- 4 races, best start 2nd (Silverstone, Race 5); best race result 8th (Nurburgring, Race 4)
- 2007: Le Mans Series (Team - Larbre Compétition)
- 1 race, best start 2nd (Interlagos, Race 6); best race result 1st (Interlagos, Race 6)
- 2006: Formula 3000 International Masters (Team - Pro Motorsport)
- 2005: World Series by Renault 3.5 (Team - Interwetten)
- 12 races, best start 5th (Donington, Race 2); best race result 14th (Bilbao, Race 2)
- 2005: Formula Toyota Atlantic (Team - Brooks Associates Racing)
- 1 race, best start 3rd (Long Beach, Race 1); best race result DNF (16th) (Long Beach, Race 1)
- 2004: Formula 3 Euroseries (Swiss Racing Team) - Formula 3 Euroseries tests with ASM Mercedes-Benz
- 2 races with Swiss Racing Team
- 2003: F3 Sudamericana (Team Cesario Formula) - Formula 3 Euroseries tests with ASM Mercedes
- 12 races, best start 3rd (Interlagos); best race result 1st (Interlagos)
- Five third-place finishes, Sixth in Championship (did not compete in all the races)
- 2002: Formula Renault 2000 Eurocup (Team RC Motorsports) - Italian Formula Renault 2000 (Team RC Motorsports)
- 9 races, best start 5th (Imola), best race result 12th (Pergusa)
- 2001: Italian Formula Renault 2000 (Team Bicar Racing)
- 1 race, best start 7th (Misano), best race result 13th (Misano)
Karting Career Stats
- 2001: Karting in Italian and European Championships (Birel Official Factory Team)
- 2000: Karting in Italian, European and World Championships (Danilo Rossi Racing Team)
- 1999: Karting in Italian and European Championships (Danilo Rossi Racing Team)
- 1998: Karting in Brazilian National Championships and North-American Championships (CRG Official Factory Team)
- 1997: Karting in Brazilian National Championships
- 1996: Karting in Brazilian National Championships
- 1995: Karting in Brazilian National Championships
- 1994: Karting in Brazilian National Championships
- 1993: Karting in Interlagos, São Paulo, Brazil
Fernando Rees also became a known figure among the international sim-racing online communities. His debut in online sim-racing is said to be in 2001, in the Little Formula Racing Series (LFRS) league, at the time the top level of online sim-racing for the computer racing simulator Grand Prix series.
Rees was present in the most well-known sim-racing leagues between 2001 and 2006, proving to be competent in simulators such as the Grand Prix series (Grand Prix 2, Grand Prix 3 and Grand Prix 4), NASCAR Racing Series (by Papyrus Racing Games), F1 Challenge '99-'02 (by EA Sports) and later in the GTR FIA Racing series (GTR and GTR2).
His dozens of lap records and race results are still online in the different league’s archives, and can be downloaded and watched using the appropriate simulators. Many of Rees’ laps are still celebrated in the sim-racing scene, especially in the Grand Prix series communities.
In an interview on November 27, 2006, LFRS disclosed that Fernando Rees would be rejoining the Grand Prix 4 championship in their next season. It ended up being nothing but a rumor. Fernando was never back to LFRS, but was often seen online in GTR2 servers.
In 2008, Rees could often be found racing on GTR2 and GTR: Evolution simulators in various European servers. Fernando actually joined the well-known GTR2 championship of Gamers-Crib in its Season 3 in the first semester of 2008, racing the events of Enna and Interlagos scoring two pole-positions and one win. Fernando also competed in Gamers-Crib's Seasons 4 and 5, scoring a dozen of pole-positions and wins. In Season 5, in his debut in the Premier League, he was incontestably the quickest competitor in Gamers-Crib, with 7 pole-positions in 8 races, but failed to win the championship after a series of in-game mistakes.
Fernando was also a frequent competitor in the Pilsbierbude servers in GTR2, having scored a long list of track records and race wins.
- "Européia: Rees é o mais rápido nos testes em Estoril" (in Portuguese). Speedway. 2003-12-12. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
- "Piloto paulista é o mais rápido em testes privados para a F-3 Européia" (in Portuguese). UOL Esporte. 2003-12-11. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
- "Focus on: Fernando Rees". RTR: Real-Time Racing. 2009-12-01. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
- "Fernando Rees: Point of View". FernandoRees.com. 2008-09-16. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
- "Rees dominates day one of WS test". Crash.net. 2006-03-23. Retrieved 2007-11-11.
- "Fernando Rees in control". Motorsport.com. 2005-11-23. Retrieved 2008-10-03.
- "Fernando Rees crashes heavily in testing". AOL AUTOS. 2005-11-23. Retrieved 2008-10-03.
- "Larbre Competition set for Brazilian finale". Planetlemans.com. 2007-10-31. Retrieved 2007-11-11.
- "Interlagos: Series race report". Motorsport.com. 2007-11-11. Retrieved 2007-11-11.
- "Monza: Zytek race report". Motorsport.com. 2008-04-28. Retrieved 2008-04-29.
- "Round 4. Nürburgring 1000 Kilometres". MG Lola. 2008-08-17. Retrieved 2008-09-15.
- "Fernando Rees, le nouvel atout de Barazi-Epsilon". Endurance-Info.com. 2008-05-14. Retrieved 2008-09-15.
- "And a bad news". FernandoRees.com. 2009-07-27. Retrieved 2009-10-31.
- "Le Mans Series Team Standings". Le Mans Series. 2009-05-10. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
- "ENDURANCE WEC : PEDRO LAMY ET FERNANDO REES REJOIGNENT LARBRE COMPETITION". Auto News Info. 2012-02-19. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
- "Balance of Performance stymies Larbre Competition". PaddockTalk. 2013-09-04. Retrieved 2015-02-13.
- "LFRS Archive". LFRS. 2008-08-08. Retrieved 2008-08-08.
- "GP4 2006 - Interview with Fernando Rees". LFRS. 2006-11-27. Retrieved 2008-08-08.
- "Gamers-Crib". Gamers-Crib. 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2009-06-25.
- "Gamers-Crib Season 5 - Premier League". Gamers-Crib. 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2009-06-25.
- "Pilsbierbude - Fernando Rees Records". Pilsbierbude. 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2009-06-25.