CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Target Laguna Seca preview

Bruno Junqueira And Memo Gidley, Team Target What: Honda Grand Prix of Monterey - Round 19 of the 21-race CART FedEx Championship Series. When: Sunday, Oct. 14. Broadcast: 4 p.m. Eastern, live on ESPN. Broadcast live on CART Radio Network ...

Bruno Junqueira And Memo Gidley, Team Target

What: Honda Grand Prix of Monterey - Round 19 of the 21-race CART FedEx Championship Series.

When: Sunday, Oct. 14. Broadcast: 4 p.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 --- Saturday, Oct. 13. Practice - Friday, Oct. 12.

Where: The 2.238-mile permanent road course in Monterey, Calif.

History: Since 1990, a Team Target driver has finished in the top-10 at Laguna Seca every year except 1994. Former Team Target drivers Jimmy Vasser ('97) and Alex Zanardi ('96) recorded victories at Laguna Seca. Since 1983, only one driver has started outside the top-3 and won the race (Vasser '97).

Fast Facts:

Bruno Junqueira scored his first CART series victory at Elkhart Lake on Aug. 19, the first victory of the season for Team Target.

Junqueira's victory at Elkhart Lake was the 38th career victory for Team Target.

Junqueira ranks 16th in the series point standings with 50 points. Memo Gidley, who joined the team after the seventh race of the year, ranks 17th.

Team Target has scored at least one championship point in six of the last seven races.

Gidley's second-place effort 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 sixth in laps led for the season.

Gidley's third-place finish at the Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston was his third top-five finish of the year.

Including the Indy 500, 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 108 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 $9,975.

QUOTES:

Memo Gidley, Driver No. 12 Target Toyota/Lola -

"Last week was huge for us. We struggled for most of the weekend, trying to find the right balance on the car. Once the race started, I knew we had a consistent car. My team made some great calls in the pits and we were able to make up 20 positions and finish on the podium. After I crossed the finish line, I thought I was dreaming when they told me I finished third. I hope we can keep it going this weekend. It's going to be great to get back home and race at my home track. I began my racing career at the Jim Russell Racing School at the Laguna Seca track. I started working there as a mechanic back in 1991. That's first exposure that I had to auto racing. After a few days on the job, I realized I wanted to race for a living. I'm looking forward to these next three races and I really think we can win one of these. Our team is full of confidence right now."

Bruno Junqueira, Driver No. 4 Target Toyota/Lola -

"Laguna Seca is one of the few tracks that I have tested on this year. Some of the other tracks I tested at were Nazareth and Elkhart Lake. I think the testing I did at those tracks really helped me out when the race weekend came. I won the pole at Nazareth and I won the race at Elkhart Lake. The testing we did has helped the team arrive at the track with a better baseline setup on the car. Being a rookie at all of these new tracks is challenging for me, but it helps to have an experienced team behind me. These last few races have not been very good for us, but I think that will change this weekend. We've been strong on the road courses this year and I'm looking forward to this weekend. I like the track in Laguna Seca. It has some fast corners and elevation changes, similar to Elkhart Lake."

Mike Hull, Team Target Managing Director -

"I grew up in California, so Laguna has always been a special place for me. It's one of the most scenic tracks in the world. It is also a great place for the fans to come and watch the race. We had a solid podium finish last week and we are confident that we can carry that momentum into this weekend's race. Our road course package has improved throughout the year and I think that we'll be competitive this weekend."

TEAM TARGET HEADS WEST AFTER PODIUM FINISH

Impressive third-place finish for Gidley in Houston

MONTEREY, Calif. - Last week in Houston, Team Target driver Memo Gidley scored one of the most impressive performances in the CART FedEx Championship series this season. After damaging his primary car in Saturday morning's practice session, Gidley could only muster a 23rd place starting position. On a track with few places to pass, it looked like a podium finish could only have been a dream. However, Gidley climbed through the field, using a combination of fuel strategy and aggressive driving, to finish third. "You can only dream about days like this," Gidley said after the race. The 20-position gain was the most for Team Target since 1997, when Alex Zanardi went from 26th to fourth in Rio.

Team Target is hoping for some "California Dreaming" this weekend as they travel to the Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif. The 2.238-mile permanent road course is a favorite stop among drivers, team members and fans. The track has also been a favorite for Team Target as they have finished in the top-10 in 9 of 10 races since 1990. In that time the team has also scored two victories with Alex Zanardi in 1996 and Jimmy Vasser in 1997.

Team Target is hoping to continue its success on road courses this weekend. Rookie Bruno Junqueira captured the team's first victory in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Teammate Memo Gidley led 67 laps at Cleveland and narrowly missed a win, finishing second. Last week, Gidley scored the team's third podium finish in Houston.

The Honda Grand Prix of Monterey featuring the Shell 300 airs live on ESPN at 4 p.m. Eastern on Sunday.

-CGR-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Memo Gidley , Bruno Junqueira , Alex Zanardi , Chip Ganassi , Mike Hull
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing