Memo Gidley's Double Duty for the Air Force Reserve VANCOUVER, BC (July 24, 2004) - Driver, Memo Gidley joined the Rocketsports Racing team for Round Seven of the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford at the Molson Indy...
Memo Gidley's Double Duty for the Air Force Reserve
VANCOUVER, BC (July 24, 2004) - Driver, Memo Gidley joined the Rocketsports Racing team for Round Seven of the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford at the Molson Indy Vancouver, July 23-25, 2004. Gidley is a significant part of the Air Force Reserve motorsport program, and was scheduled to race the No. 48 Air Force Reserve Ford Focus touring car as part of the SPEED World Challenge at Portland International Raceway on the same weekend.
Passionate about racing, Gidley realized the importance of the Champ Car drive with Rocketsports, but sought to fulfill his commitment to drive the touring car. With the cooperation Rocketsports and the Air Force Reserve, Gidley executed a plan that allowed him to qualify the No. 17 Rocketsports Air Force Reserve Champ Car in Vancouver on Friday and Saturday, and actually jet to Portland Saturday afternoon to race the No. 48 Air Force Reserve Ford Focus.
On a very hot and fast Vancouver street course, Gidley secured his position on the starting grid for the Molson Indy Vancouver and posted his best time, of 1:01.365, in lap 14. Gidley was fourth quickest in the session and qualified fifth overall, landing the No.17 Rocketsports Air Force Reserve Lola in fifth position on the starting grid for Sunday's race.
After qualifying the No. 17 Rocketsports Air Force Reserve Champ Car, Gidley flew off to Portland International Raceway to race the No. 48 Air Force Reserve Ford Focus Touring Car in the SPEED World Challenge. Gidley thanked the Rocketsports crew for the excellent performance of the No. 17 Champ Car and literally ran to a police escort, which transported him to a jet waiting in the Vancouver International Airport.
With 30 seconds to spare, Gidley 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 at the back of the pack. 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 (six) and the "Hard Charger" award for making the most passes in the race (23).
"I love to race, to be out there and compete," said Gidley. "To drive two cars in two series, in 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 (Director of 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."
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 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.
Catch Gidley in the No. 17 Rocketsports Air Force Reserve Lola in the Molson Indy Vancouver on SPIKE TV at 4:00 PM (ET) on Sunday, July 25, 2004