First stop this weekend for Muscle Milk extreme athlete Memo Gidley: GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 series race, the Porsche 250 Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Second stop for Memo: DJSA Jet Ski Series race #1 at Salt Springs Reservoir Sunday at Copperopolis, CA.
Memo, newly signed co-driver Dion VonMoltke and the Doran Racing Team head to Barber Motorsports Park after two past years of “what-ifs” in the Porsche 250 event. The 2008 race saw the Doran team consistently shown as one of the fastest cars in practice, only to suffer an engine fire halfway through the race, ending any chance of a podium. Last year, Memo qualified the McDonalds car fourth, but a bad pit call saw the #77 car go down a lap early. However, upon getting back in the #77 car at the end of the race, Memo passed every car in the field to get a lap back and set the second-fastest race lap in the process. Unfortunately, he ran out of time to reward a good car and the Doran team with a podium finish.
“We have had two years at Barber where we absolutely had the car to win the race,” said Gidley. “Unfortunately, being fast is only one detail of what it takes to win a race. We really need to have a mistake-free race to give us a shot at the end and that’s our mindset going in to this weekend.”
Gidley and Dion now have one race under their belt driving together, and Gidley is excited to drive with him again. “Dion showed at Homestead that he has really good speed in the car,” said Gidley. “And what I like about him even more is that he is really motivated about preparing himself to drive. Every time I call him he is either going to or coming from the gym and I’m excited by that commitment and can’t wait to see what we can do together at Barber.”
Dion brings with him the backing of South African Airways. “I was able to meet the people of South African Airways at Homestead and really liked them,” said Gidley. “They were so excited to be there and that energy motivated me even more in the car. I’m excited to have their company support of our racing and have the South African Airways logo on our car for the remainder of the season.”
Unbelievably, after Saturday’s Rolex race in Alabama, Gidley will then drive all the way to Atlanta in order to be able to catch a late enough flight to get back to California for the season opening DJSA Outlaw Jet Ski series race. “Most people have no understanding of why I would do something like this,” said Gidley. “And to them, I can only say that I am motivated to race and win. I had a great year and won the DJSA Championship in the Super 800 class last year and one of my rewards from the series was to bump me up to a faster class! But frankly, having stiffer competition just motivates me even more to be the best I can be.”
Gidley, known as one of the hardest-working and most versatile racers in the country, hopes that all this preparation will bring two great results for a good weekend of work. “I have been pushing myself harder than ever before during this time between races. I am super motivated because of all my racing programs. In racing, so much of winning is out of your control, but being strong is up to me and I will always push myself to be at my best. My goal is simple, to always be strong enough to run qualifying lap speeds every lap of every race in anything I do.”
This weekend’s GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 Porsche 250 is April 8th-10th at the Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. The race kicks off at 12:30 Saturday with full coverage on Speed starting at 1:30 pm EST.