IRL: Indy500: Gidley, Knapp search for setup

May 11, 2001, Indianapolis: American driver Memo Gidley loaned his racecar to Brayton Racing teammate Steve Knapp today, in an effort to give Knapp some initial seat-time and obtain a second-opinion on the setup of the ...

May 11, 2001, Indianapolis: American driver Memo Gidley loaned his racecar to Brayton Racing teammate Steve Knapp today, in an effort to give Knapp some initial seat-time and obtain a second-opinion on the setup of the #61 Cure-Autism-Now Oldsmobile G-Force Firestone.

Knapp spent the day on a series of practice runs, completing 67 laps and comparing notes with Gidley during each visit to the pits. Knapp's best lap time of the day was 41.26 seconds, a three-tenth of a second improvement on Gidley's best lap from Thursday. Upon analyzing both driver's throttle tracings, the team has determined that the carbon-fiber gas pedal has been flexing in the turns, causing a "lifting" effect even when the pedal is fully depressed.

Steve Knapp: "I'm not going a whole lot faster than Memo was going," remarked Knapp after his first track day of the month. "I've got the car good and balanced and trimmed out and safe, but this throttle pedal situation is definitely costing us some speed."

Gidley agreed with Knapp's assessment. "The team made some steady progress today, but we're still quite a ways off. We're not really in the ballpark right now."

According to Gidley, the decision to loan his car to Knapp for the day played out in a constructive and mutually beneficial manner. "We helped each other today. Steve's car is not ready yet, so it seemed like a good idea to give him an opportunity to run some laps. He's been around Indy quite a bit, so it killed two birds with one stone to get him out there and see if he could make the car a little bit better. Steve is a very smart driver, you can learn from working with him."

"I have a lot of respect for Gidley," said Knapp after his final run of the day. "I raced with Memo a little bit in Atlantics in 1997. The race that sticks out in my mind was the Vancouver street race, when he won and I finished second. I really really enjoyed that race, because I was giving it everything I had to stay with him. We're both going to get in this event solid and have a great race."

Associate sponsor Marsh Supermarkets is building on the teamwork showed by Gidley and Knapp with s special monthlong promotion called "Teaming Up For A Cure." Shoppers at seventy-two Marsh supermarkets are being given the opportunity to donate $1 to autism research during the checkout process, and the contributions have accelerated to a rate of approximately $1300 per day. The store expects to break the $10,000 mark by the end of the weekend, and will continue the promotion through the end of May.

-MGR

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Memo Gidley , Steve Knapp