Watkins Glen II: Memo Gidley preview

Back To The Glen With Eight Top-10s The two-car Doran Racing team has put together an enviable record of consistent top-10 finishes during the 2008 season -- eight so far -- including the last five races in a row; Watkins...

Back To The Glen With Eight Top-10s

The two-car Doran Racing team has put together an enviable record of consistent top-10 finishes during the 2008 season -- eight so far -- including the last five races in a row; Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio, Daytona, Barber Motorsports Park and Montreal. That string of successes includes a 5th-place finish for the #77 Kodak Doran Dallara Ford co-driven by Memo Gidley and Brad Jaeger earlier this season at the Sahlen's Six Hours at Watkins Glen.

Returning to the track where the team has scored its best result so far this season, and with the crews of both cars working together smoothly, the Doran team is confident it finally has all the pieces in place to score its first podium finish - perhaps even the season's first victory - this Friday in the prototype-only Crown Royal 200 on the 'short course' at The Glen.

"We had a great run at the Glen in our first visit there this season, and a great test on the Monday after the race, so we're in good shape for 200 miles of flat-out racing," says Gidley, the talented and widely respected American driver who has made a name for himself driving and winning in everything from karts to Indy Cars and stock cars to prototypes. "We struggled a bit at Montreal because the team didn't race there last year so we had no good baseline setup to start from, but this race will be the exact opposite; we've raced well and tested well, and if there is a race this season where all the elements are lined up for us to step up to the next level, this is it."

The #77 Doran Racing / Kodak Doran Dallara Ford co-driven by Memo Gidley and Brad Jaeger 17th and finished 11th last weekend in Montreal, but has scored finishes of 7th in Mexico City, 5th at Watkins Glen (qualified 3rd and finished 5th) and 6th Daytona. Jaeger is a recent graduate of Vanderbilt University where he was a member of their Formula SAE team, has a racing resume that includes karting, Sports 2000, Skip Barber, F2000, Star Mazda and the Indy Pro Series.

"Even though we're running the 2.45-mile 'short course' at The Glen this time, instead of the 3.4-mile long course, we had a really good test there on the Monday after the 6-hour race in June," says Jaeger. "About seventy percent of the track is the same, and we know what changes need to be made to the car to adapt it to the shorter course. We have a good amount of test time on Thursday prior to qualifying to do any fine tuning and we're all looking forward to the race."

The #47 Doran Racing/CDOC/Brach's Candy Dallara Ford, with Burt Frisselle and new co-driver Ricky Taylor at the controls, had a more problematic 6-hour race in the hands of another driver, with an off-course excursion resulting in a small fire and a 19th-place finish.

"We had a good race car and bad luck in our last visit to The Glen, but the team has turned things around since then and we're ready to go racing," says Frisselle, who has co-driven the #47 since its debut in Round 2 at Mexico city where the team finished 9th, followed by an 8th at VIR, 7th at Mid-Ohio, 5th at Barber and 9th in Montreal. "We'll build on the work that Memo and Brad and the crew of the #77 car did in the 6-hour, and with my fast young co-driver, I'm confident we'll produce a good result for our new sponsor, Brach's."

Frisselle has been racing Daytona Prototypes in the Rolex Series since 2004, including a podium finish in his first-ever start in the series. He has scored top-10 and top-5 finishes in each of his four seasons of Rolex competition, including a 2nd place finish at Watkins Glen in 2004. Ricky Taylor is the 19 year-old son of Rolex Series champion Wayne Taylor and, when not in a race car, attends Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, Florida, where he plays on the varsity soccer team. In 2007, Taylor finished second in Skip Barber National Championship with two wins, five poles and five podiums. He won the Skip Barber Southern Series in 2006 with six wins, three poles and 12 podiums

"I'm really excited to get a chance to drive on all these historic tracks, like Montreal and Watkins Glen, that I've been watching on TV for years," says Taylor. "The team had a really good test at The Glen, we have a good amount of track time before qualifying on Thursday afternoon and I'm really excited about the race because its all prototypes, no GT cars, so it will be flat-out racing without having to worry about lapped traffic."

The two cars the Doran Racing team will race at The Glen, and will campaign throughout the 2008 Rolex Series season look the same, but are different underneath. The #47 car is all-Dallara, while the #77 car is a Doran chassis fitted with Dallara bodywork featuring enhanced aerodynamics and increased downforce. Both cars are powered by 500 horsepower Roush-Yates Ford V-8 engines.

The next event, Round 12 on the 2008 Rolex Series schedule, is the Crown Royal 200 on the 'short course' at Watkins Glen International, a prototype-only race scheduled for 200 miles or 2 hours, whichever comes first. On-track activities begin with morning and early afternoon practice sessions on Thursday, August 7, followed by Qualifying from 4:30 to 4:45 pm. The Crown Royal 200 at the Glen for the Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 is scheduled to take the green flag at 6:30 pm, Friday, August 8. The race will be broadcast tape delay at August 8 at 8:00 pm ET on SPEED TV.

-credit: www.memogidley.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Memo Gidley , Wayne Taylor , Burt Frisselle , Skip Barber , Brad Jaeger , Ricky Taylor
Teams Doran Racing