Memo Gidley in Champcar & Touring Car 300 Miles Apart... Gidley's Double Duty for the Air Force Reserve and Ford July 24, 2004/Vancouver, BC & Portland, Or. -- After a 5th place Molson Indy Vancouver qualifying effort in just his second Champcar...
Memo Gidley in Champcar & Touring Car 300 Miles Apart...
Gidley's Double Duty for the Air Force Reserve and Ford
July 24, 2004/Vancouver, BC & Portland, Or. -- After a 5th place Molson Indy Vancouver qualifying effort in just his second Champcar start aboard the No. 17 Rocketsports Air Force Reserve Champ Car for Round Seven of The Champ Car World Series Powered By Ford, Memo Gidley flew off to Portland International Raceway to race the No. 48 Air Force Reserve Ford Focus in the SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championship. With one hour & forty minutes before the start, Gidley jumped out of the car, thanked his crew and literally ran to a police escort, which transported him to a private jet waiting at the Vancouver International Airport for the three hundred mile flight to Portland.
With 30 seconds to spare, Gidley stepped out of the helicopter that had transported him to the track from the Portland Airport and was strapped into the No. 48 touring car for the 4:15 PM race start. Since Gidley was in Vancouver for Champ Car qualifying on Friday, he did not qualify the touring car in Portland and had to start from pit lane. From 34th on the grid, Gidley made an impressive 11th place finish, in the Ford Focus prepared by Techsport Racing, engineered by Andy Brown. Gidley scooped the "Hole Shot" award for passing the most cars in the first lap (6) and the "Hard Charger" award for making the most passes in the race (23).
"I love to race, to be out there and compete is what I live for," said Gidley. "To drive two cars, two completely different formulas, in two series, in two different cities, in two countries, on the same day was awesome. I'm grateful to the many people who worked hard to make this happen. Paul Gentilozzi (Rocketsports team owner) and Major Greg Pachman (Air Force Reserves motorsport program) had the open-minded, out-of-the-box kind of thinking that was crucial to pulling this off. It was very important for me to drive the Champ Car and fulfill my touring car commitment. This was a great challenge, and one of the best days of my life, I wish I could get back into my Champcar right now...sundown is still an hour away"
In the eyes of many international fans, the Rocketsports crew and the Techsport Racing team, Gidley also earned the award for "Greatest Effort Made to Race." The cooperation and collaboration of the Molson Indy Vancouver, the Vancouver Police, Portland International Raceway, the Champ Car World Series, SCCA Pro Racing, SPEED Channel, Betelgeuse Productions, Rocketsports Racing, the Air Force Reserve and Canada Jet Charters made Gidley's extraordinary day a reality.
Gidley's impressive performance in the No. 48 Air Force Reserve Touring Car and his top-five qualifying result in the No. 17 Rocketsports Air Force Reserve Champ Car reflect the reward and satisfaction that comes from teamwork and tenacity, backed by technology and consistent training.
Memo's Vancouver-Portland Schdule:
Thurs/Day-Portland/Practiced The AFR #48 Speed Challenge Ford Focus
Thurs/Night-Flew To Vancouver
Friday/Vancouver/Pratice-First Qualifying session (Champcar)
7:00AM Wake Up
8:00AM Arrived at Vancouver Track
10:00AM-11:15PM Champcar Practice
12:40PM- 1:10PM TV Shoot For Broadcast
1:45PM-2:45PM Champcar Qualifying
2:46PM -3:04PM Police Escort To Vancouver Airport
3:05PM Steps Into Private Plane
3:09PM Wheels Up To Portland
3:09PM-3:51PM Flew 277 Miles To Portland Intl Airport
3:51PM Wheels Down Portland
3:53PM-4:02PM Customs Inspection
4:03PM Ran To Helicopter
4:05PM Helicopter Lifts Off
4:05PM-4:14PM Flight From Airport To Portland Intl Raceway
4:15PM Lands Next To Pit Lane
4:15PM Speed Challenge Touring Car Roll Off
4;17PM Gidley Is Strapped In And Rolls Down Pit Lane To Catch Field
4:19PM Green flag drops/Gidley starts from back of the grid
4:19PM-5:09PM SC Touring Car Race
(Starts from 34th-Finishes 11th/Wins Hole Shot Award & Hard Charger Award)
5:12PM Steps Out Of The Car
5:25PM Podium Ceremony
5:30PM-6:00PM Press Conference
6:25PM-7:03PM Drive From Track To Airport
7:05PM-7:50PM Flight Portland To Vancouver
7:53PM-8:01PM Custom Clearance
8:03PM-8:42PM Airport To Hotel
9:00PM Gidley Orders Room Service
10:15PM Room Service Arrives
10:45PM Tries To Fall Asleep
Molson Indy Vancouver Champcar Race