Gidley Aces Indy Lynx Racing graduate Memo Gidley made onlookers at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway sit up and take notice by breezing (of course, 214.388 mph is quite a breeze!) through his rookie test for the Indy 500 in just 80 ...
Gidley Aces Indy
Lynx Racing graduate Memo Gidley made onlookers at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway sit up and take notice by breezing (of course, 214.388 mph is quite a breeze!) through his rookie test for the Indy 500 in just 80 minutes. Making the achievement all the more impressive, Gidley went to Indy without any connections at all, lined up a deal with Team Pelfrey the night before, and had just 21 laps of practice before moving into the four-phase rookie test. "I've been here since Tuesday trying to get my rookie test done with no money," said Gidley. "I've been going around seeing shops trying to get something going, but most teams told me the necessary seat time would cost between twenty and fifty-thousand dollars. I don't have that kind of money, and so it wasn't until 10:30 Sunday night that Dale Pelfrey said 'Yeah, I'll put you out on the track no problem, be there at 7 a.m. tomorrow. I hope you can bring some guys with you to work on the car, because we're shorthanded.' So I changed the pedals and helped to get the car ready for the track." Gidley has run and won on ovals in the U.S. F2000 and CART Toyota Atlantic series, and ran 11 CART road course and street circuit races in 1999 for Walker Racing and Payton-Coyne but this was his first experience with an oval since the Atlantic race at Milwaukee in 1998 (a race he won)... and his first-ever drive in an Indy car on 2.5-mile oval. "On the oval, it's more the car than the driver and the car was real comfortable for me right away," said Gidley. "I've always been comfortable on high-speed corners, even though I've never been on an oval this big. It's pretty awesome. When you're on your warm-up lap at 135 mph it seems pretty fast, then you turn it up to 210 and it gets really wild. It's a lot for me to learn and I'll just try to do it as quickly as possible." Gidley is currently in discussions with Pelfrey about trying to qualify that same car for the 500 next month, and has been in negotiating with Derek Walker (who gave Gidley his first CART ride last year) to substitute for injured driver Shinji Nakano at CART's Long Beach event next weekend, Gidley said "If I could tell you the roller coaster I've been on this week… It's typical of a day in the life of my whole deal, which is you never know what's going to happen around the corner. Because I was able to get in the car and get up to speed pretty quickly, I came in and just really, really wanted to race that car. Hopefully I will be able to do just that on Memorial Day." Gidley is still searching for sponsorship that will make it possible for him to run the Indy 500, and if anyone interested in participating, or knows someone who might, please call Lynx Racing PR Manager Peter Frey at (818) 909-0985.
Senske In The Snow
Lynx Racing driver Sara Senske ran her third Barber Dodge Pro Series race at Nazareth on Monday, starting from the 22nd position and finishing 19th. Due to inclement weather (3-inches of snow) that forced the CART race to be re-scheduled for May 27, the Barber Dodge competitors were denied final qualifying and started the race in the order of their practice times. Monday's 60-lap race was run with no spectators, nobody at all on hand save the competitors themselves along with race officials and corner workers. The race was won by Sepp Koster, who started from the pole. Michael Valiente, who tested with the Lynx Atlantic team earlier this year, started and finished fourth. "There was only one yellow flag so it was a very fast race," said Senske. "Unfortunately we never did have enough time to get the car set up properly and it was so cold that the car was really loose in the warmup session, and during the race it pushed so bad in turn three that I had to back way out of it to keep it out of the wall. During the race I ran with some pretty fast people, and I put in some laps that were within 2/10ths of the leaders, so I think with a bit more time and experience I'll be moving up both the starting grid and finishing order." Senske's next Barber Dodge Pro Series race is on the Grand American Road Racing weekend at Lime Rock, CT on May 29.
2000 marks the 10th anniversary of Lynx Racing, one of the most unique organizations in auto racing today. Created and owned by two women, Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty, Lynx is both a championship-winning racing team and a uniquely successful driver development program that focuses on a driver's spiritual and psychological growth in addition to their on-track skills. The Lynx mission is to seek out young drivers with the desire and potential to become champions at the highest levels of the sport and provide them with the funding, equipment and training to take the last step toward realizing that potential, a process the team calls 'destiny by design.' Lynx alumni include CART FedEx drivers Patrick Carpentier, Alex Barron and Memo Gidley.