American driver Memo Gidley had a frustrating first day of qualifying in Vancouver, his fifth consecutive CART event with Della Penna Motorsports. Gidley and the team started the day looking quick, but had difficulty adapting to changing track...
American driver Memo Gidley had a frustrating first day of qualifying in Vancouver, his fifth consecutive CART event with Della Penna Motorsports. Gidley and the team started the day looking quick, but had difficulty adapting to changing track conditions and qualified 20th with a time of 63.300 seconds.
According to Gidley, adjusting to an evolving track has been a consistent challenge for the Della Penna team. "We seem to be struggling through the same period of each race weekend," explains Gidley. "The track rubbers in all weekend, and we end up sliding around through a good part of the middle period. By the time the race starts, we usually find our bearings and are running competitively with the leaders."
Gidley had a minor incident in the first half of the afternoon qualifying session, but his crew was able to repair the damage and send him right back out. "I came into the last turn too hot and my right-rear clipped the tire barrier. I entered the pits with a bent toe link and a flat tire, and my Red Menace crew did a great job replacing the toe-link in less than five minutes. We came out in time for a good number of laps on the second set of tires, but we need to make some further adjustments to find more speed in time for qualifying tomorrow afternoon."
Gidley comes to Vancouver having raced here several times in the past: last year with Dale Coyne Racing, and earlier in Toyota Alantics. "I like this temporary street track a lot," says Gidley. "There's a real fast 140 mph turn, which is unusual in a street course, there are some long duration turns, some chicanes, and a few real tight turns, so there's a little bit of everything. You can pass here, and it's fun to drive in wet or dry conditions."
Gidley will attempt to move up the charts as qualfying continues tomorrow.