It took Roberto Moreno four years to get a full time ride in the Fed-Ex Series after building a reputation as a Supersub with strong performances in a variety of machines. For Memo Gidley just 15 races were enough to secure him a full time ride.

The American driver has been confirmed as John Della Penna's employee for the rest of the current CART season and possibly the next after standing in for troubled rookie Norberto Fontana at the last two races.

Gidley was originally brought in to the Reynard-Toyota squad for the Michigan 500 as Fontana was not yet comfortable with running on the oval circuits that make up more than a third of the Champ Car calendar. The deal was extended through to Chicago last weekend where Gidley brought the car home in the points for the second time in two races. Fontana only managed one points scoring finish during the first ten events of the year.

Gidley cut his teeth in Formula Atlantic and the Barber Dodge Series before moving into the CART series last year in place of Naoki Hattori in the Walker Racing team. Several outings in the Valvoline Reynard led to further appearances for the struggling Payton-Coyne outfit. No contract was forthcoming and Memo began the 2000 season on the sidelines. An opportunity presented itself just before the second race of the year at Long Beach when Patrick Carpentier hurt his arm in a domestic accident and Memo was drafted in to the Player's Forsythe squad for three races, his performances earning him the Supersub title which Moreno vacated at the start of the year when he signed for Patrick Racing.

Gidley will now compete in the remaining eight races on the CART schedule starting at the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course next weekend where he tested for Della Penna last month.

Fontana meanwhile is heading back to his native Argentina to secure a proper budget for next year although what direction he wants to take his career now is unclear. A deal is already in place which will see him return to the Formula 3000 Championship with the struggling Coloni team who parted company with Soheil Ayari before last Sunday's race at Hockenheim. Outside of Champ Cars, the 25 year olds single seater option s appeared to be limited. A disastrous spell with Sauber in Formula One in 1997 scuppered any hopes he had of finding a ride for 1998 and a return to the F3000 Championship with Fortec last year was also less than successful.


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