CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Target Toronto preview

Bruno Junqueira And Memo Gidley, Team Target; Pre-Race Fact Sheet/News Release: Toronto What: Molson Indy of Toronto - Round nine of the 21-race CART FedEx Championship Series. When: Sunday, July 15. Broadcast: 1 p.m. Eastern, live on ...

Bruno Junqueira And Memo Gidley, Team Target; Pre-Race Fact Sheet/News Release: Toronto

What: Molson Indy of Toronto - Round nine of the 21-race CART FedEx Championship Series.

When: Sunday, July 15. Broadcast: 1 p.m. Eastern, live on ESPN. Broadcast live on CART Radio Network affiliates. Coverage of practice, qualifying and the race is also live on CART.com. Qualifying --- Saturday, July 14. Practice - Friday, July 13.

Where: The 1.721-mile temporary street course in Toronto.

History: Since 1990, Team Target has recorded 10 top-10 finishes including two victories (Andretti 1994 and Zanardi 1998). Team Target also claimed five podium finishes from 1994 to 1998.

Fast Facts:

Memo Gidley's second-place finish last week was a career-best for Gidley and the highest finish of the season for Team Target.

A Team Target driver has finished in the top 10 every year at Toronto since 1996.

A Team Target driver has qualified in the top six in five of the last six races.

Including the Indy 500, Bruno Junqueira has finished in the top 10 four times this season (ninth at Long Beach, seventh at Nazareth, fifth at Indy and fourth at Milwaukee).

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

Junqueira's top finish is fourth at the Milwaukee Mile on June 6.

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

Gidley has competed in 24 CART FedEx Series events over the past three seasons with a career-best second-place finish coming at Cleveland last week.

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 100 pole positions since 1996.

For the fifth consecutive season, Target Chip Ganassi Racing will raise money for Target House at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital by donating $5,000 for victory, $1,000 for each pole position and $25 for each lap led. The team has donated more than $230,000 since 1997. This year the team has donated $2,750 to Target House.

QUOTES

Bruno Junqueira - No. 4 Target Toyota/Lola

"We're looking forward to getting back into the championship hunt this weekend in Toronto. We've had some bad luck over the last few races. This team has shown it can be competitive every week. I'm looking forward to racing up in Toronto this week. The fans are great and it's a nice place to have a race. It will be important to have a good qualifying effort there. We've done very well in qualifying so far this year and I think that will help us this week."

Memo Gidley - No. 12 Target Toyota/Lola

"Last weekend was one of the best moments in my career. I felt the race was mine to win. We had the dominant car out there and I was hoping I could bring home my first win and the first win of the year for the team. I hope we can have another dominating performance like we did last week in Cleveland. I'm pretty familiar with the track in Toronto. In 1999, I started 15th and finished 12th. I'm confident I have a better car this year and I expect us to have a solid run this week. I'm very impressed with all of the people here at Team Target. They all know their roles and have a great way of communicating with each other."

TEAM TARGET HEATING UP AS IT HEADS TO TORONTO

Gidley eager to show that second-place finish at Cleveland was no fluke

TORONTO -- Over the past several years, Target Chip Ganassi Racing has produced numerous magic moments on the racetrack. For example, in the final lap of the 1996 race at Laguna Seca, former Team Target driver Alex Zanardi made a breath-taking pass in the corkscrew turn to claim the victory. Four years later, former Team Target driver Juan Montoya, making his first appearance at the Indianapolis 500, dominated the field and claimed the championship. And, of course, there were the unprecedented four straight CART titles earned by Jimmy Vasser (1996), Zanardi (1997 and 1998) and Montoya (1999).

As it demonstrated July 1 at Cleveland, Target Chip Ganassi Racing still has some magic up its sleeve. Memo Gidley, making just his second appearance for Team Target, led 57 of the 100 laps, finished second, narrowly missing the first checkered flag of his Champ Car career. Although Gidley had not stepped foot into a Champ Car this year prior to his Team Target debut June 24 at Portland, the 30-year-old American is eager to show that it was talent, not smoke and mirrors, that produced his amazing magic at Cleveland.

"Cleveland was one of the best moments in my career," said Gidley, whose previous best finish was sixth at Road America in 2000. "I felt the race was mine to win. We had the dominant car out there, and I was hoping I could bring home my first win and the first win of the year for Team Target."

Gidley is confident his success at Cleveland was no fluke, and is eager to prove it to his fans, sponsors and teammates who have supported him over the years.

"I know we can have another great performance like we did the other week. I'm pretty familiar with the track in Toronto. In 1999, I started 15th and finished 12th. I'm confident I have a better car this year and I expect us to have a solid run this week. I'm very impressed with all of the people here at Team Target. They all know their roles and have a great way of communicating with each other."

Gidley's Team Target teammate is producing his share of magic this season, too. Bruno Junqueira, last year's European Formula 3000 champion, claimed a pole position in just his third event (Nazareth), finished fourth in his first-ever Indy 500 and has qualified an average of seventh in his past six events. The 24-year-old is certain he will join Gidley on the podium soon.

"We're looking forward to getting back into the championship hunt this weekend in Toronto," said Junqueira, who ranks 14th in the CART point standings. "We've had some bad luck over the last few races, but this team has shown it can be competitive every week. I'm looking forward to racing up in Toronto this week. The fans are great and it's a nice place to have a race. It will be important to have a good qualifying effort there. We've done very well in qualifying so far this year and I think that will help us this week."

The Team Target magic show continues Sunday, July 15 with the Molson Indy of Toronto. The race airs live at 1 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

-TT-

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