VIR: Memo Gidley race report

DORAN RACING SCORES ANOTHER TOP-10 FINISH IN BOSCH ENGINEERING 250 AT VIR VIR/Alton, VA (April 28, 2008) - After a 2-car top-10 finish in last weekend's Mexico City 250, Doran Racing confirmed that it has stepped up its game with another ...


VIR/Alton, VA (April 28, 2008) - After a 2-car top-10 finish in last weekend's Mexico City 250, Doran Racing confirmed that it has stepped up its game with another competitive weekend and a top-10 finish for the #47 Doran Racing BSI/CDOD/Anasten Plus Ford Dallara of Burt Frisselle and Gabriel Gardel in Round 4 of the 2008 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va.

Gardel qualified the 13th on the 45-car starting grid with a lap of 1:45.897 (111.164 mph) around the 3.27-mile, 17-turn VIR road course and Frisselle was at the controls when the checkered flag flew, scoring an 8th-place finish.

"We had a tough couple of days right out of the box, but Kevin Doran and the team put their heads together and came up with an awesome car for the race," said Frisselle. "The track is very physical and it was a hot and humid day, so it was a tough race on the drivers but we had a good strategy. If you'd told me the night before that we would be finishing 8th, I'd have said you were crazy, but it just goes to show that when the chips are down, you have to put your faith in your engineer. So now we have two top-10 finishes with an undamaged car and a couple of weeks to get the car back to the shop and tuned up. Gabriele and I can't wait for Laguna."

It looked, until about an hour and twenty minutes into the race, that the Doran team was headed for another 2-car, top-10 finish. Brad Jaeger qualified the #77 Doran Racing / Kodak Ford Doran/Dallara 9th on the grid with a lap of 1:45.372 (111.718 mph), but started 7th due to two cars being penalized for technical infractions.

"We were tuning the car all weekend and got a fast car with the final race set up," said Jaeger. "We had a little problem when I brought the car in for gas and tires during the first yellow flag because the nitrogen bottles weren't fully on. As a result I was at the tail end of the field when I went back out, but the car was good and I was able to work my way up through the field. I'm not certain where I was when I brought the car in at the hour and ten-minute mark to hand it over to Memo, but he re-joined the field in 10th, so I'm happy with what the team and I achieved this weekend."

About four laps into his stint, Gidley, however, drifted a bit wide on the exit of the fast left-hander after the esses and dropped two wheels off the track. On any other track, this wouldn't have been a problem, but at VIR the shoulder on that side is rough and ungraded, and the right side of the car was sufficiently damaged to require a lengthy visit to the pits. On re-joining the race, Gidley was running lap times equal to the race leaders and soldiered on to bring the car home in 41st place, 33 laps down.

"The impact with the dirt on the shoulder packed the wheel wells full of dirt and bent the floorpan back, which the crew had to cut off before we could go back out," said Gidley. "The up side was that after they made repairs, the car was still capable of running lap times equal to the race leaders, and it was much cooler inside because of the air blasting in through the hole in the floor. It was an unfortunate incident because we had the car to run with the leaders and finish in the top-5 at least. I told the crew guys that we'll just have to skip the top-5 finish and go right to the podium in the next one."

With a 2008 record of 9th at Mexico City and 8th at VIR, the #47 Doran Racing BSI/ CDOD/ Anasten Plus Ford Dallara of Frisselle and Gardel is 25th in the team championship battle with 45 points. The #77 Doran Racing Kodak Ford Doran/Dallara of Gidley and Jaeger, with a 2008 record of 16th at Daytona, 17th at Miami, 7th at Mexico City and 41st at VIR, is 22nd in the team championship with 66 points. Thirty-five teams are entered in the team championship.

In the driver points battle, Frisselle moves up to 27th with 67 points and Gardel is 33rd with 60 points. Gidley and Jaeger are tied for 28th with 66 points each, with more than a hundred drivers are entered in the driver championship.

Eleven races remain on the 2008 schedule; next up is Round 5, the 250 at the Monterey Festival of Speed at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on May 16 - 17. This is Novato, California resident Memo Gidley's home track, and he co-drove the #77 Kodak car to a 10th-place finish in this event last year.


Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Memo Gidley , Burt Frisselle , Brad Jaeger , Kevin Doran
Teams Doran Racing