The Player's Forsythe team has announced that sometime CART driver Memo Gidley will replace Patrick Carpentier at Long Beach this weekend, after the Canadian driver broke his wrist in an accident at home on Monday.

Gidley made ten starts as a rookie last season, splitting his time between the Walker and Payton-Coyne Racing outfits, but appeared to have been left on the sidelines in 2000 until Neil Micklewright, VP of operations at Forsythe, called on him.

''You hate to lose one of your drivers this early in the season, but we need to keep the momentum from Homestead going and we feel that Memo is best suited for the job,'' Micklewright said, ''As you can imagine, we have a lot of things to do in preparation for the weekend, but I am sure that everybody at Team Player's is up to the task.''

Gidley, who starred in the lower American formulae before making his CART debut, admitted his gratitude after being given the opportunity to rejoin the series.

''It's kind of strange because I replaced Patrick at Lynx Racing after he won the Atlantic Championship in 1996 and, while this situation is totally different, I know that Patrick will be supportive, and root for me and his Team Player's crew,'' the youngster said.

Dr. Terry Trammell, CART's chief orthopedic surgeon, was due to operate on Carpentier's left wrist yesterday [Tuesday], and will supervise his recovery, after the Canadian lost his balance and suffered the injury while climbing a staircase carrying a heavy suitcase. He is expected to miss at least the next two events - at Long Beach and Rio.

''I'm extremely disappointed to find myself on the sidelines after starting the season on such a strong note,'' Carpentier said, ''I feel bad for all the guys who have worked so hard to get us to this point, but this latest setback will only increase my resolve to help make the team a championship contender when I come back.''



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