Despite Snowy Conditions, Gidley And Doran Team Test Well At Daytona

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daytona_1_resize.jpgIt was a wild weekend at the Three Day Daytona "Roar Before The 24",
but not for the usual circumstances that typically go on at this race
track, but for the weather.  Everyone expects the usual mixed
conditions of rain and sun that seem to follow this event, but the
sight of snow and below freezing temperatures definitely were unusual
to see.  Regardless, the #77 McDonalds/Doran Racing Team ran fast,
consistently inside the top six during the on track sessions and came
away with an optimistic feeling for the race in three weeks.


daytona_1_resize.jpgIt was a wild weekend at the Three Day Daytona "Roar Before The 24", but not for the usual circumstances that typically go on at this race track, but for the weather.  Everyone expects the usual mixed conditions of rain and sun that seem to follow this event, but the sight of snow and below freezing temperatures definitely were unusual to see.  Regardless, the #77 McDonalds/Doran Racing Team ran fast, consistently inside the top six during the on track sessions and came away with an optimistic feeling for the race in three weeks.

"Frankly, we had a very difficult test a few weeks ago when we were here at Daytona," said Gidley. "It seemed nothing was working right and we just could not get a handle on exactly what was wrong with the car." Despite that poor test, the Doran team went back to the Cincinnati race shop and tore into the car to find what was causing them all that grief.  "We all knew something was wrong, but just didn’t know what," said Gidley.  "It was related to the rebuild after that big crash from Montreal…something just got overlooked."

However, when the team unloaded for this test, Memo and the #77 McDonalds car instantly jumped into the top five on the charts for the first on track session.  "Man, the car felt like a completely new car…I was so happy!," said Gidley.  "We made a few minor changes in the few laps I drove but as I told the team right away, our racecar is back!"

daytona_2_resize.jpgThe team spent the rest of the three days trying different set-ups, waiting for the track to dry or getting the other Doran team drivers laps in the car.  The current lineup is Fabrizio Gollin, 2004 FIA GT Champion, and Derek Johnston, Sunoco Challenge winner, with one driver still yet to be named.  "I have raced with Fabrizio the last few years at Daytona and he is an awesome teammate who has always done a fantastic job," said Gidley. Gidley’s other teammate is Derek Johnston who was this year’s Rolex Challenge 24 at Daytona Driver Challenge presented by Sunoco Challenge winner.  Derek won the UK Radical Championship which lead to his prize of a fully sponsored ride in this year’s Daytona 24.

"Derek has been a really cool customer in the car and is a great person to be around," said Gidley. "He has no experience in a car of this speed and size, nor has he been to this track before.  Despite all this, he has done a really nice job under immense pressure and I’m looking forward to driving with him."

The Rolex 24 starts January 30th at 3:30 pm EST.  Live coverage is broadcasted on SPEED Channel.