Memo Gidley, No. 99 Gainsco/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype (DP), met with members of the media at Daytona International Speedway following his first driving stint in the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Memo Gidley:“Well I think the car felt pretty good. Honestly, the first half of the first stint I probably did more laps than I have done in all the preseason testing. For me it was just getting back used to the car again and then also with all the cars out there it’s a lot of traffic. It’s great to have the field that we have this year. It makes it super challenging. You come up on two or three or four GT cars battling, going three and four wide. You just have to be really patient. I think my whole mindset going in is just to keep doing laps. If I have to lose a position I will lose a position and keep it safe so we have a fast car at the end.”
IS THERE A NOTICEABLE DROP IN THE TEMPERATURE OUT THERE ON THE STINT YOU JUST DID? “Inside the car you don’t feel a whole lot different when the temperature drops because the DP’s are pretty warm inside. It makes a big difference in the amount of grip and I noticed in the first stint the car was sliding around a fair amount, wasn’t too hooked up. I had to work a little bit harder. As the sun went down the track cooled off and it’s almost like the rubber that is on the surface gets a little bit more stable and the car hooks up, rolls around the corner better, puts the power down. Other than the visibility being a little tougher, I really enjoy driving in the night when it’s cool just because the car seems to just hook up a little bit more.”
HOW IS THE TRAFFIC NOW WITH THE SMALLER SERIES IN THE TRACK? ARE THEY CREATING PROBLEMS FOR THE TOP DRIVERS? “It’s very challenging. It’s part of what makes this race so interesting. Actually the slowest cars, the GX cars they are actually a lot easier to get around because down the straightaway we are considerably faster. But, when you look at the GT’s and how fast they are going looking at the times they are doing 47 (second laps) or something in qualifying. That is not a whole lot slower than what we are doing. This is really a horsepower track, so I can see one coming out of the bus stop that is 100 yards ahead of me and I’m lucky to get around him by start/finish. That makes it really challenging to get around these guys. Just makes it a little bit harder everywhere.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE TOP CARS HOW THEY ARE DEVELOPING THE RACE? ARE THEY ON A VERY FAST PACE? “I thought the pace was pretty fast. It really comes down to II think there are some cars that are a little bit faster than us ultimately, at least right now. We will tweak on it a little as the night goes on. I think that it’s a pretty fast pace for sure. I think there are a lot of cars that are really close within a second. As the night goes on and as the cars change a little bit, some hook up, some start loosening up, changing handling wise. You never know who is going to be in contention, but there are just a lot of good teams out there.”