CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Target Gold Coast preview

Bruno Junqueira And Memo Gidley, Team Target What: Honda Indy 300 - Round 20 of the 21-race CART FedEx Championship Series. When: Sunday, Oct. 28. Broadcast: 1 p.m. Eastern, ESPN. Broadcast live on CART Radio Network affiliates. Coverage of ...

Bruno Junqueira And Memo Gidley, Team Target

What: Honda Indy 300 - Round 20 of the 21-race CART FedEx Championship Series.

When: Sunday, Oct. 28. Broadcast: 1 p.m. Eastern, ESPN. Broadcast live on CART Radio Network affiliates. Coverage of practice, qualifying and the race is also live on Qualifying --- Saturday, Oct. 27. Practice - Friday, Oct. 26.

Where: The 2.795-mile temporary street course in Surfer's Paradise, Australia.

History: Since 1991, Team Target has scored three poles (Vasser '96, Zanardi '97 and Montoya '99) and captured three victories in Australia. Michael Andretti scored the team's first Surfer's Paradise win in 1994, Jimmy Vasser won the race in 1996 and Alex Zanardi claimed the checkered flag in 1998.

Fast Facts:

Gidley's second-place finish at the Oct. 14 Honda Grand Prix of Monterey marked his fourth top-five finish of the year.

Gidley's second-place efforts at Laguna Seca and Cleveland were his career-best finishes.

Bruno Junqueira scored his first CART series victory at the Motorola 220 in Elkhart Lake on Aug. 19, the first victory of the season for Team Target.

Junqueira's victory at Elkhart Lake was the 38th career victory for Team Target.

Junqueira ranks 16th in the series point standings with 56 points. Memo Gidley, who joined the team after the seventh race of the year, ranks 15th.

Team Target has scored at least one championship point in eight of the last nine races.

Gidley led nine laps at the July 29 Target Grand Prix, bringing his total laps led to 134 in six races, which places him sixth in laps led for the season.

Gidley currently stands eighth in points scored per race.

Including the Indy 500, Junqueira has finished in the top 10 seven times this season (ninth at Long Beach, seventh at Nazareth, fifth at Indy, fourth at Milwaukee, ninth at Michigan, first at Elkhart Lake and seventh at Laguna Seca).

Junqueira claimed the first pole position of his CART career in his third race on May 6 at Nazareth.

Junqueira placed fifth in this year's Indy 500, his first-ever race on the famed 2.5-mile oval.

Junqueira and Gidley replace Juan Montoya, the 1999 CART champion, and Vasser, the 1996 CART champion.

Junqueira claimed the 2000 European F3000 Series championship, earning four victories.

Target Chip Ganassi Racing won 34 of the 92 CART FedEx Series events from 1996 through 2000.

Team Target has claimed four CART FedEx Series championships (1996-1999) and won the Indianapolis 500 in 2000.

Team Target drivers have claimed 32 of the 109 pole positions since 1996.

For the fifth straight season, Target Chip Ganassi Racing is raising money for Target House at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital by donating $5,000 for victories, $1,000 for pole positions and $25 for each lap led. The team has donated

more than $230,000 since 1997. So far this year, the team has donated $9,975.


Gidley notches second straight podium finish at Laguna Seca

SURFERS PARADISE, Queensland, Australaia -- Last weekend at Laguna Seca, Team Target driver Memo Gidley recorded his second straight podium finish, adding another impressive performance to his ever-growing racing resume. It was like déjà vu, as Gidley started his No. 12 Target Toyota/Lola in the 23rd position for the second week in a row. He didn't remain there for long. Gidley made his way through the back of the field and appeared near the front as the finish of the race approached. Using fuel conservation, the Team Target crew captured a second place finish, capping off another magical performance by Gidley and the team. Gidley was ecstatic with his career-best tying second place finish on his home track.

"That was an amazing day for Team Target," Gidley said. "To grow up racing on that track, working for free just to get track time there, words can't express my happiness. I used to dream about days like that. My team made some great calls on fuel

strategy and that was the key. I hope we can keep the momentum going this weekend in Australia. Although we've had some great races this year, I'm still hungry for that first win. I just missed a win in Cleveland and one in Laguna. It would be a storybook ending to a great year for me."

Teammate Bruno Junqueira also had an impressive run at Laguna Seca, crossing the finish line in seventh place. This was the seventh top-10 finish this season for Junqueira, who is looking forward to his first race in Australia.

"I can't wait to get down there," Junqueira said. "I used to watch that race on television every year. We've had a great car on street courses this year, we just have had some bad luck. I think our luck is going to change this weekend. We had a good race last weekend in Laguna and we should have a top-five car in Australia."

Team Target has experienced great success "down under" over the past 10 years. Since the inaugural race in 1991, Team Target has started in the top-10 every year and notched three pole positions by three different drivers. Jimmy Vasser won the pole in 1996, Alex Zanardi won it in 1997 and Juan Montoya captured the top qualifying spot in 2000. Three different drivers have also won in Australia for Team Target: Michael Andretti in 1994, Jimmy Vasser in 1996 and Alex Zanardi in 1998.

The Honda Indy 300 airs Sunday on ESPN at 1 p.m. Eastern.

Interview with Mike Hull, Team Target Managing Director

Over the last two races the No. 12 team has started 23rd and finished second and third. How were you able to find success after starting near the back of the field?
"We were successful over the last two races using fuel strategy. When you start at the back of the field and there is an early yellow, you can pit without losing track position. Laguna threw us for a loop, however. Normally, there are not many yellow flags there, so we had to adjust our strategy when we saw the first yellow. From then on we had to save fuel until the end of the race, when we needed to make a run at the leaders. That worked to our advantage and almost won us the race in Laguna.

Team Target has had some strong results over the last two races, is the team gathering momentum as we reach the last two races of the season?
"I feel that we have always had momentum. This team goes into each week with a lot of confidence. That's one of the strengths of this team and that's reflected in our history."

How has the season gone for you, personally?
"It's been fun. We`ve had some good results this year and I'm already excited about next year. I was very lucky when I took over for Tom (Anderson) at the end of last year. I didn't have to start from scratch. Tom was very generous and made it an easy transition for me. I applied some of his philosophies and combined them with my own. There's a great group of people in the organization who know their roles and work hard to make this team successful. My management style is different from Tom's, and that worked well over the years."

Looking forward to 2002, what are goals for Team Target?
"Our goals for next year are to have our two drivers tied for first in the championship, to lead the most laps, win the most poles and to win the Indianapolis 500. That's what we strive for here as a team -- to be the best. The way you win championships is one day at a time. You have to make the most of each day and always try to improve on the previous day. I'm very excited about next season."


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Memo Gidley , Bruno Junqueira , Alex Zanardi , Chip Ganassi , Mike Hull
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing