Daytona II: Memo Gidley race report

Gidley, Jaeger Score Top-6 Finish in Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona Doran Racing continued its streak of front-of-the-pack finishes with the ...

Gidley, Jaeger Score Top-6 Finish in Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona

Doran Racing continued its streak of front-of-the-pack finishes with the #77 Kodak Doran/Dallara Ford co-driven by Memo Gidley and Brad Jaeger starting from 6th on the gird and finishing the 250-mile event in 6th-place. This is the sixth top-10 finish for the 2-car Doran Racing team so far in the 2008 season. The #47 Doran Racing/Miracle Sealants/CDOC Dallara Ford co-driven by Burt Frisselle and Ricky Taylor qualified 9th and finished just out of the top-10, in 11th-place.

There was more to the story, of course, including contact between the two team cars early in the race when Taylor slid into Jaeger and the #77 car slid off course. Both were able to continue, but several additional dramas ultimately affected the outcome of the race.

"I definitely could, and should, have been more patient," said Taylor. "Both Brad and I were being held up by the car ahead and I thought I could slip through and pass them both but wound up making light contact with the #77 car. Our car didn't suffer any damage and we continued to run competitive times throughout the race. Our major bit of bad luck was a stop-and-go penalty for passing too soon on the re-start and that cost us a lot of places at the end. Problems aside, we had a top-5 car at Daytona and hopefully we can take that speed with us to the next race at Barber Motorsports Park in two weeks."

Taylor is the 19 year-old son of Rolex Series champion and SunTrust team owner Wayne Taylor. He made his Daytona Prototype debut at the Rolex 24 driving for his father's SunTrust team. In 2007, Taylor finished second in Skip Barber National Championship. Co-driver Burt Frisselle has been racing Daytona Prototypes since 2004, scoring a number of top-10 and top-5 finishes in each of his four seasons of Rolex competition.

"Obviously I am very disappointed for the whole Doran team," says Frisselle. "We actually had a very good car and had just finished passing the #59 car, that ended up fourth, when we were black flagged for a restart infraction. We had wanted to have a good result for Miracle Sealants, but the penalty thwarted our run. Ricky drove a great stint and our Dallara was better in the race than it had been in qualifying. It is very difficult to come to Daytona with no testing and a schedule that compresses everything into one day, but our Doran team did a great job of getting the car competitive."

The #77 Kodak car missed the first, all-important practice session while an issue with a new gearbox and incorrect gear ratios was resolved. Given the shortened track time, Jaeger's performance during the 15-minute qualifying session was little short of phenomenal, with his best time good for 6th on the starting grid.

"The car was great qualifying and the whole Doran team was really happy with the 6th-place qualifying," said Jaeger. "I got spun around by Ricky Taylor a couple of laps into the race and that definitely wasn't a good start to things. The hit bent the suspension a little, I could feel the difference in the handling immediately, but we were able to battle back and finish 6th. All things considered, I'm pretty pleased with how the race turned out and the Doran Racing team did a tremendous job."

Jaeger is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio and recent graduate of Vanderbilt University where he was a member of their Formula SAE team. His racing resume includes karting, Sports 2000, Skip Barber, F2000, Star Mazda and the Indy Pro Series. He co-drove his first prototype race for the Doran team in the 2007 season finale at Miller Motorsport Park. His co-driver in the #77 Doran Racing/Kodak Doran/Dallara Ford is Memo Gidley, the very talented and widely respected American driver who was born in La Paz, Mexico and now makes his home in Novato, California, has made a name for himself as one of the most committed drivers in the paddock, driving and winning in everything from karts to Indy Cars and stock cars to prototypes.

"It turned out to be a good run, though it certainly didn't look like we were going to get that good a finish at the half-way point of the race," said Gidley. "After we got spun around by contact with our team car, the handling on our car was never quite as good and we were locking up under braking. Then we had a fuel problem during a pit stop that cost us a lot of time and we were down almost three-quarters of a lap, but a yellow came out just at the right time and we were able to get back into the hunt. I passed a bunch of cars and some more dropped out or spun and I found myself up in 5th in the closing laps. Then the Brumos car tapped me on a yellow-flag re-start and got me loose and I dropped back to 6th. With a whole race weekend condensed into one day and there was a lot of pressure and with everything that happened 6th was a decent result."

This marks the fifth top-10 finish for the 2-car Doran Racing team, three of them scored by the #77 car, including a 7th in Mexico City where both cars finished in the top-10, a 5th-place in the 6-hour event at Watkins Glen and 6th at Daytona. The #47 finished 9th at Mexico City in the car's first race, 8th at Virginia International Raceway and 7th at Mid-Ohio.

The two cars the Doran Racing team ran at Daytona and will field throughout the 2008 Rolex Series season look the same, but are different underneath. The #47 car is all-Dallara, while the #77 car is a Doran chassis fitted with Dallara bodywork featuring enhanced aerodynamics and increased downforce. Both cars are powered by 500 horsepower Roush-Yates Ford V-8 engines.

-credit: memogidley.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Memo Gidley , Wayne Taylor , Burt Frisselle , Skip Barber , Brad Jaeger , Ricky Taylor
Teams Doran Racing