Gidley to complete season for Della Penna

Memo Gidley will replace Argentinian rookie Norberto Fontana for the rest of the 2000 CART season. The American was initially taken on to stand in for Fontana at oval races, but so impressed team boss John Della Penna at his two appearances at Michigan and Chicago that he will get the chance to see out the season in the team's Reynard-Toyota

Gidley to complete season for Della Penna

Fontana finds himself driveless for the season after being signed as the team's full time driver at the start of the season. "He spent his whole career in Europe," said Della Penna. "That's such a different racing environment, it put us at a disadvantage trying to get ready during a race weekend," he went on.

"Initially, Memo was going to drive for us on the oval tracks and Norberto would continue to drive at road and street courses. The series environment is so competitive that we can't afford to give up anything. I can't have two drivers switching back and forth. The team needs continuity."

Gidley, a former Toyota Atlantic front runner was selected to drive for Walker Racing last season, and impressed the Champ Car fraternity. He was selected to stand in for Patrick Carpentier at the top-line Player's team, and subsequently to race at the Michigan superspeedway for Della Penna, as Fontana was felt to have too little oval experience to tackle the 240mph track.

However, Gidley impressed, and was kept, first for the following race at Chicago, then the rest of the ovals on the calendar. "We have half a season left and need to post some good results," said Della Penna. "Memo has done that for us. Due to his experience, he comes to us with a strong idea of what he needs out of the car. We're able to be much more effective and, as Memo has shown, finish consistently at the top of the field."

Gidley has taken part in five races this season, three of which resulted in top ten finishes. "I look forward to surprising a few people with our results," said Gidley.

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