This past weekend the Northern California Chapter of the Viper Club of America went on a club outing to race go karts at RPM Kart Racing in Sacramento, CA. The event was planned by Club Secretary Terri Angen and member Toddy Gomez of Bad Boyzz Garage.
In the planning stage one of the members, Rick Mathews, suggested that we invite a seasoned driver to show the group “how it ought to be done”. Rick contacted his favorite driving coach, Team Sahlens’s Mazda GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16, Muscle Milk MEGA Athlete and friend Memo Gidley and invited him to join the group as a mystery professional driver. Memo accepted the invitation to join the Viper Club on this outing right away and upped the ante by offering a half day of his driving coach services to anyone who could beat him on the track.
No one knew who the mystery driver was prior to the event but the prospect of his presence got everyone out to their local kart track to practice much to the chagrin of many spouses. On the appointed day twelve Viper owners, a support group made up of friends and spouses and Memo Gidley arrived at the RPM karting facility for a day of competition and fellowship.
“I was contacted by a friend of mine asking if I wanted to go head to head against the Vipers with some indoor go-karts,” said Gidley. “At first I was a little worried because they sounded like a pretty fierce group…and who knows what kind of trouble I could get into if I made one of them mad! After all, I’m a racer…not a fighter…but I decided to roll the dice and go for it because I can never turn down a good race…especially when go-karts are involved.”
Memo sliced through the field like a hot knife in butter even though he started every heat from the back of the grid. In between heats Memo could be seen coaching all comers who wanted to avail themselves of his expertise. There were many takers and many new friends and fans were made in the process. In the final heat some of the Viper guys conspired against Memo and got him placed in the worst handling/lowest horsepower kart in the field. In spite of this good natured conspiracy Memo still moved right up through the field and was able to get by every competitor except one in the fifteen lap final.
“It was a lot of fun to be around a group that is so passionate about driving,” said Gidley. “And, Ill tell you…even though they are amateur drivers…they all gave me a run for my money. I didn’t find out until after that they had conspired against me and stuck me in the slow kart! I will get them back for that!”
“The Viper Club members were elated to have someone with Memos pedigree and accomplishments grace them with his presence,” said Viper member Rick Mathews. “To a person they all marveled at how down to earth Memo is, what a nice person he is and his smooth driving skills. We all look forward to watching on SPEED to see how he and his Sahlen’s Team finish at the next round of the Grand-Am Series at Barber Motorsports Park next weekend.”