Bruno Junqueira and Memo Gidley, Team Target What: German 500 - Round 15 of the 21-race CART FedEx Championship Series. When: Saturday, Sept. 15. Broadcast: 7:30 a.m. Eastern, live on ESPN. Broadcast live on CART Radio Network affiliates.
Bruno Junqueira and Memo Gidley, Team Target
What: German 500 - Round 15 of the 21-race CART FedEx Championship Series.
When: Saturday, Sept. 15. Broadcast: 7:30 a.m. Eastern, live on ESPN. Broadcast live on CART Radio Network affiliates. Coverage of practice, qualifying and the race is also live on CART.com. Qualifying --- Friday, Sept. 14. Practice - Thursday, Sept. 13.
Where: The two-mile oval in Lausitz, Germany.
History: The German 500 marks the inaugural race at the EuroSpeedway. On ovals this year, Team Target has recorded one pole position by Bruno Junqueira at Nazareth and four top-10 starts. The team has also scored seven top-10 finishes on oval tracks in 2001.
Bruno Junqueira scored his first CART series victory at Elkhart Lake on Aug. 19. This was also the first victory of the season for Team Target.
Junqueira's victory at Elkhart Lake was the 38th career victory for Team Target.
Team Target has scored at least one championship point in five straight races.
Memo Gidley's second-place finish at Cleveland on July 1 was his career-best finish.
Gidley led nine laps at the July 29 Target Grand Prix, bringing his total laps led to 134 in six races, which places him fifth in laps led for the season.
Gidley's fifth-place finish at the Target Grand Prix was his second top-five finish of the year.
Including the Indy 500, Bruno Junqueira has finished in the top 10 six times this season (ninth at Long Beach, seventh at Nazareth, fifth at Indy, fourth at Milwaukee, ninth at Michigan and first at Elkhart Lake).
Junqueira claimed the first pole position of his CART career in his third race on May 6 at Nazareth.
Junqueira placed fifth in this year's Indy 500, his first-ever race on the famed 2.5-mile oval.
Junqueira and Gidley replace Juan Montoya, the 1999 CART champion, and Vasser, the 1996 CART champion.
Junqueira claimed the 2000 European F3000 Series championship, earning four victories.
Target Chip Ganassi Racing won 34 of the 92 CART FedEx Series events from 1996 through 2000.
Team Target has claimed four CART FedEx Series championships (1996-1999) and won the Indianapolis 500 in 2000.
Team Target drivers have claimed 32 of the 105 pole positions since 1996.
For the fifth straight season, Target Chip Ganassi Racing is raising money for Target House at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital by donating $5,000 for victories, $1,000 for pole positions and $25 for each lap led. The team has donated
more than $230,000 since 1997. So far this year, the team has donated $9,900.
GERMANY NEXT STOP FOR TEAM TARGET
Gidley and Junqueira anxious for inaugural event
Lausitz, Germany - Team Target heads overseas this weekend to compete in the inaugural German 500 at the new EuroSpeedway located in Lausitz, Germany. The CART FedEx Championship Series will make its debut on German soil on Saturday in the German 500. The two-mile tri-oval features wide racing lanes and long straightaways, enabling side-by-side racing at speeds of more than 200 mph.
Team Target has excelled on ovals this year, beginning with the first left-turn-only race in Nazareth. Rookie Bruno Junqueira, who had never raced on an oval, qualified on the pole and finished seventh in Nazareth. Since then, Team Target has raced to seven top-10 finishes in six oval races this year. Team Target Managing Director Mike Hull believes his driver's success on ovals this year is a result of a great team effort.
"A lot of our success on ovals this year can be attributed to our engineering staff," Hull explains. "We are fortunate to have some of the best engineers in the business and they really know how to set the cars up. Another key to our success is the Toyota/Lola combination. That combination has been very strong on ovals this year, and we expect to do very well in Germany this weekend. It's going to be a challenge for us, since we've never tested on that track, but I'm confident we'll be in the hunt for a victory."
Rookie Bruno Junqueira has already captured one victory and one pole position in his young CART career. On oval tracks, the young Brazilian has scored four top-10 finishes in six races, including a fifth-place finish in his first Indianapolis 500. Junqueira won two races last year in Germany en route to the 2000 FIA F3000 championship, and is looking forward to racing in Germany again.
"Last year, Germany was very good to me," Junqueira said. "I'm hoping it's even better for me this year. I don't know what it is about that place, but I really like racing in Germany. I've always had a lot of good luck there. That oval looks like a really fast track. I've had some success on ovals this year and I feel very comfortable racing on them. I like high-speed corners, so it hasn't been that difficult of an adjustment for me. It was great to get my first win in Elkhart Lake a few weeks ago and now it makes me really want another win."
Teammate Memo Gidley turned in another solid performance on Sept. 2 in Vancouver, finishing 10th. Gidley has excelled in his last two oval races, finishing 5th in Chicago and leading 67 laps in Michigan before a loss of oil pressure took him out of contention for the victory. The 30-year old Californian is excited about the upcoming race in Germany.
"We've been so close to a victory this year," Gidley explains. "We led 57 laps in Cleveland and finished 2nd. We led 67 laps in Michigan and we were running in 2nd at Chicago with 20 laps to go. Some people might view this as frustrating, but for me it is encouraging to know you have a car that is capable of winning races week in and week out. And that's all you can ask for. Our oval car has been awesome this year and I'm really excited about these two oval races in the next two weeks. I'm very confident in this team and I think we have a great chance to win this weekend."
The German 500 airs live on ESPN beginning at 7:30 a.m.