Top-Ten Finish for Tagliani and a Vigorous Return by Gidley TORONTO, Ont. (July, 11, 2004) -- Alex Tagliani, driver of the No.8 Johnson Controls Lola and Memo Gidley in the No. 17 LeasePlan Lola finish seventh and 16th respectively, in the...
Top-Ten Finish for Tagliani and a Vigorous Return by Gidley
TORONTO, Ont. (July, 11, 2004) -- Alex Tagliani, driver of the No.8 Johnson Controls Lola and Memo Gidley in the No. 17 LeasePlan Lola finish seventh and 16th respectively, in the 19th annual Molson Indy Toronto. Tagliani started in ninth position on the grid and was running as high as second, but encountered a number of set-backs on the 1.755 mile track. This is Tagliani's fifth top-ten finish of the season and the 44th of 83 Champ Car career starts. The seventh-place Toronto finish puts Tagliani in fifth spot in the championship standings with a total of 103 points; 61 points behind series leader and Toronto Indy winner, Sebastian Bourdais.
"The No. 8 Johnson Controls Lola was the best it's been all weekend," said Tagliani. "The Rocketsports/Johnson Controls crew worked hard, right up to this morning and made some improvements to the car. My plan was to be careful and do my best out there from ninth on the grid. At one point I was running in the top two and three. There were a lot of mistakes made in the race and a lot of action on the track. It's confusing, but the team has a lot of data to review and sort through to make sense of it all."
With only one day of practice and qualifying in over two and a half years since he was last in a Champ Car, Memo Gidley made his 37th career start in the Molson Indy Toronto. Rocketsports made a last-minute call to the veteran driver to pilot the No. 17 LeasePlan Lola and Gidley responded with vigor and a strong desire to compete. Making a valiant effort, Gidley moved from 18th position on the starting grid to 11th in just 12 laps, but was put out of the race in lap 36 when the No. 17 car got loose and made contact with the wall. Gidley was a welcome addition to the Rocketsports team for Round Six of the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered By Ford, and ranks 20th in the standings with 5 points.
"I went from 20th to 12th pretty quickly and then got spun around by Allmendinger. Then I tried to catch up from a lap down. I got sideways in lap 36 and couldn't save it, but I had a great time and enjoyed getting back into a Champ Car," said Gidley. "I'm proud to have driven the No. 17 Rocketsports car for LeasePlan and work with a great crew."
Rocketsports returns to the Champ Car World Series competition in the Molson Indy Vancouver set for Sunday July 25, 2004.