Homestead: Memo Gidley race report

DORAN'S DALLARA SHOWS SERIOUS SPEED IN MIAMI GP DEBUT Daytona, FL (March 31, 2008) - Doran Racing's debut of its new ...

DORAN'S DALLARA SHOWS SERIOUS SPEED IN MIAMI GP DEBUT

Daytona, FL (March 31, 2008) - Doran Racing's debut of its new #77 Kodak Doran/Dallara Ford was all going according to plan - until unavoidable mid-race contact with a spinning car broke the rear suspension, forced a visit to the garage for repairs and turned an otherwise promising run at the GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami into a useful test session for the Mexico City event coming up in three weeks.

Co-drivers Memo Gidley and Brad Jaeger found the car to their liking just as it rolled off the truck, setting top-10 times in two of the three practice sessions. Jaeger was at the controls during the traditional and unique Grand-Am 15-minute qualifying session and put the car 12th on the grid with a lap of 1:14.674 (110.881 mph). The field is so tight in the Rolex Series that just 1.5 seconds separated Jaeger from the pole-winning time of 1:13.002 (113.390 mph). As a result, Jaeger was also at the wheel when the field took the green flag for the 250 mile (2 _-hour) race at 3:00 pm Saturday, March 29th.

"We had a decent qualifying session and a really good start to the race when I passed several cars going into Turn One," said Jaeger, a native of the Cincinnati, Ohio and recent graduate of Vanderbilt University. "The car felt great all weekend long and we had a good race going but we got hit several times during the race and one of them finally broke the rear suspension. The Doran crew did a tremendous job getting the car fixed, but by that time we were several laps down and basically out of the race, so we decided to use the rest of the time as a test session to get ready for Mexico City. The team put a whole new setup on the car and toward the end of the race we had the best car we'd had all weekend. Hopefully we can take what we learned and apply it at the next race."

Gidley was at the wheel and running 7th when a car spun to avoid another car coming out of the pits and rammed the #77 Kodak Doran/Dallara Ford in the left rear corner, causing damage that could only be repaired in the garage.

"We were really happy with the way the car felt right from the first practice session, and except for a few problems in the race we'd have been in the running for a top-5 finish, at least," says Gidley, the talented and respected American driver who was born in La Paz, Mexico and now makes his home in Novato, California. "We got some really valuable date about the car this weekend, particularly after Brad got back on track after the Doran crew repaired the damage. The car definitely has plenty of outright speed and there are just a couple of things we have to figure out to convert that into a race-winning package. I'm confident of our ability to run up front and win this season."

The next race, Round Three of the 2008 Grand-Am Rolex Series season, takes place at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City April 17 - 19. Gidley was a co-driver in the winning car at this event in 2005 and his experience at the track, as well as his dual U.S./Mexican citizenship and huge Mexican fan base, will bring an extra level of energy and expectation to the team's efforts. In addition, Mexico City will mark the debut of Doran Racing's second car, the #47 Doran Dallara Ford with co-drivers Burt Frisselle and Gabriele Gardel.

-credit: memogidley.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Memo Gidley , Burt Frisselle , Brad Jaeger , Gabriele Gardel
Teams Doran Racing