Target Chip Ganassi Racing have announced that Memo Gidley will replace Nicolas Minassian in the cockpit of the No. 12 Target Toyota/Lola this weekend at Portland, Oregon.

Gidley has appeared in 22 CART FedEx Series events over the past two years with his career-best 6th place finish coming at Road America in 2000 while driving for Della Penna Motorsports.

The 30 year-old American is naturally excited about the opportunity to drive for the 2000 Indy 500 and four-time CART champions, having been a successful 'supersub' for the injured Patrick Carpentier in the Players outfit last season.

"Every day for the past two years I have prepared for an opportunity to race for a team like Target Chip Ganassi Racing," Gidley said. "I can't thank Chip enough for giving me this chance to show what I can do on the track. I have been looking for a ride since the start of the season, and I have had some interest from some other teams but nothing had materialised until now.

"This is a first-class organization with a tradition of winning. When I got the call this morning, I can't tell you how excited I was. Now I need to focus on the job at hand to win a race for this team. This is a dream come true for me," added Gidley.

Team owner Chip Ganassi feels that the American will give his team a chance to win immediately.

"Memo has shown in the past that he can be competitive, given the right equipment," Ganassi stated. "Our team is always working to improve itself. We feel that this move is the best way to accomplish that. Our goal remains the same: to win races and championships. Memo has experience in Champ Cars, and we expect him to be competing for a win this weekend in Portland."

Frenchman Minassian, runner-up in last year's FIA Formula 3000 championship, has had an incident packed debut season in the Ganassi outfit, alongside fellow rookie Bruno Junqueira.

However, the Brazilian has shown promise in recent races and appears to have won the support of the team, while Minassian's latest outing in Detroit ended in another DNF, when he crashed out while battling with Alex Tagliani.



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