American driver Memo Gidley continued to struggle with an ill-handling car today at Mid-Ohio, qualifying 23rd with a best lap of 68.088 seconds. It was a frustrating start to his eight-race stint as the permanent replacement for Norberto...
American driver Memo Gidley continued to struggle with an ill-handling car today at Mid-Ohio, qualifying 23rd with a best lap of 68.088 seconds. It was a frustrating start to his eight-race stint as the permanent replacement for Norberto Fontana at Della Penna Motorspors, but Memo and the team are hoping to find additional speed in tomorrow mornings final practice session.
Meanwhile, speculation regarding the name of Memo's pit crew reached a fever pitch around the paddock, as journalists, cornerworkers, merchandise vendors and international television crews car wore out their cell phones in search of information. Emails from Memo's fans continued to pour into the San Francisco offices of CART.COM, at one point threatening the stability of the website's main server. To avert a crisis of confidence in the integrity of the voting, Della Penna Motorsports has hired an internationally known accounting firm to audit the final results.
An informal count taken immediately after qualifying had Memo's favorite choice, the Pennamaniacs, with a narrow lead in the fan voting, followed by Red Menace, Crimson Tide, Lug Nutz, and the Wrench Men. A new contender, the Fetchers, (based on sponsor Fetch-o-Matic) received multiple write-in votes.
Gidley refused to comment on the voting, shaking his head while saying "it's never over 'til it's over." Gidley felt similarly about tomorrow's Champ Car race, refusing to give up hope for last-minute improvements in the morning practice. "The car lacks grip in the low speed corners, and has a lot of oversteer in the fast speed corners. I just want to get the thing right so we can race it. With the race setup, lap times slow down quite a bit, and I've been in a situation before where nothing worked right in qualifying and the car just worked better with full tanks and some slight tweaks the next morning."