The Doran Racing Team with drivers Memo Gidley and Dion Von Moltke, had a strong run going at the Lime Rock Memorial Day Classic before being sidelined by a crash due to a failed suspension piece.
The weekend started exceptionally well, with the #77 McDonald’s/PR Newswire Ford Dallara quick right from the drop of the green flag in practice.
“I was thinking we might have a lot of catch-up to do since we were one of only a couple of teams that had missed the open test at Lime Rock earlier in the month,” said Gidley. “However as it turned out, the car was really close right from the start.”
In qualifying, Memo’s teammate Dion Von Moltke put the #77 solidly in sixth place for the starting grid. And then after a great opening stint behind the wheel, rookie teammate Von Moltke handed over the wheel to Gidley with about two hours left to go in the race. Unfortunately a snagged radio wire in the driver change cost the #77 about twenty seconds and in the process, the #77 car lost a lap because of the short length of the track. However, towards the end of the race, the team got a lucky break with a wave-by under yellow and the #77 was now lined up on the lead lap but at the tail end of the grid.
“I knew we had a fast car and I was just waiting for the yellow to bunch us all up again,” said Gidley. “As soon as the green waved it was either be hunted or get hunted… typical exciting Grand Am Racing and I was having a lot of fun.”
With just under thirty minutes to, Gidley was up to seventh place and aggressively looking for a way around the group of three cars in front of him. Unfortunately, upon running over the curb at the chicane, the left rear suspension failed and sent Gidley straight into the tires. “The track has very aggressive curbs… and really when you are battling like we were you have to be pretty aggressive over them to be fast. I was disappointed with the failure but also really pleased with how fast the racecar was.”
The #77 ended up finishing eleventh, with Memo setting the third-fastest race lap in the process.
And now the Doran team finds itself in NY for the next round of action in this weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16.
Historically, Watkins Glen has been a track that the Doran team shines on, including the last time Memo raced here with the Doran team in 2008, when he led 30 laps en route to an impressive 5th place finish. “I really love driving this Watkins Glen track,” said Gidley. “It is fast and technical and the #77 car has always been so good here. I think we are going to have a great weekend.”
Green flag racing kicks off Sat June 5th at 2PM. Catch the first two hours and the last two hours live on SPEED Sat 6/5 at 2:00PM and 6:00PM.