Watkins Glen II: Memo Gidley race report

Doran Racing Scores 9th Top 10 in the Crown Royal 200 at Watkins Glen The two-car Doran Racing team extended extended its streak of top-10 finishes to six in a row and nine in total for the season with a 10th-place finish in the Crown Royal 200...

Doran Racing Scores 9th Top 10 in the Crown Royal 200 at Watkins Glen

The two-car Doran Racing team extended extended its streak of top-10 finishes to six in a row and nine in total for the season with a 10th-place finish in the Crown Royal 200 at Watkins Glen. The #77 Kodak Doran/Dallara Ford co-driven by Memo Gidley and Brad Jaeger qualified 14th and finished 10th in Round 12 of the 2008 Rolex Sports Car Series. It was at this track earlier in the season that the #77 car scored the team's best finish so far this season with a 5th-place result in the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen. The Gidley/Jaeger duo has also scored finishes of 7th in Mexico City and 6th Daytona.

"We were very fast in testing here after the six-hour, but we weren't quite on the pace in early practice for this event," said Gidley. "Then we found something in the mechanicals of the car, not the setup, fixed that and had a good car for the race. Unfortunately, because of the weather and the early pace of the race we were a lap down by the time I got in the car and at that point there's only so much you can do. The car was wicked fast but we just ran out of time before we could move up any further. Still, the race was full of positive indicators that we're making progress - - we were the fastest Dallara in the field and set the third-fastest lap of the race - so I'm confident we'll keep getting better in the final three races of the season."

Gidley, the very talented and widely respected American driver who was born in La Paz, Mexico and now makes his home in Novato, California, has made a name for himself as one of the most committed drivers in the paddock, driving and winning in everything from karts to Indy Cars and stock cars to prototypes. His co-driver, Brad 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.

"Once we found and fixed the mechanical problem that was causing handling issues, the #77 Kodak car really improved and we were looking good for the race," said Jaeger. "Unfortunately I had less than desirable conditions for my stint. The weather brought in a light rain that was completely inconsistent and always moving around the track. I never knew what to expect when entering into a corner. We were out on dry tires like many of the teams so the car was really sliding around. We got through the race with no damage and a respectable finish, so now the team can work on making the car better for the next race at Infineon instead of making repairs. I won the FF2000 championship there in 2004 and have been back there twice with Star Mazda and once with the Indy pro series last year so I'm really looking forward to the next race."

Doran Racing's #47 Brach's Candy/CDOC Dallara co-driven by Burt Frisselle and Ricky Taylor had a more difficult time of it. After qualifying in 9th place for the start of the 200-mile, Daytona Prototype-only race, the team looked well-positioned for a good finish. However, in the slippery conditions and confusion of the opening lap, Taylor spun and was hit hard by another car causing substantial damage. The Doran Racing crew was able to make enough repairs for the car to continue and finish the race, but finished 17th after spending five laps in the pits.

"It was just one of those things that happens at the start of a race under these conditions," said Frisselle. "Ricky did a geat job qualifying the car and unfortunately he was in the wrong place at the wrong time when the incident happened. The car ahead of him was slow to accelerate which forced him into a three-wide situation and the car got out from under him. The Doran Racing team did a heroic job to get the car back into the race and the fact that the Dallara could take a hit that big and go on to finish the race is a real testimonial to how strong and well-designed the car is. I'm confident the team will have the car back in top shape for the race at Infineon in two weeks. Our sponsor Brach's will have a lot of people there and we want to put on a good show for them and achieve a good result for the team."

-credit: memogidley.com

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