Muscle Milk MEGA Athlete, Memo Gidley, has been very busy these past few months. The first milestone for Memo is passing the USCG Commercial Captains License test and receiving his Master Mariners 100 ton commercial captains license which allows him to operate large vessels and yachts up to 100 tons or 200,000 lbs. “I have wanting to get my captains license for the last few years but just could never put aside the time needed to prepare for the test and go through the lengthy process”, said Gidley. “So the one benefit of not having a full time ride…I had some time to go after it!”
Memo not only went after it and got the maximum license, but he also was the first applicant at his local testing facility and an elite few that have aced the 250 question test. “Honestly, when I first started studying and taking practice tests the amount of information to learn was overwhelming! I thought there would be no way I would pass,” said Gidley. “I had to really buckle down and study like I have never studied before…it was very stressful!”
Now with his license, what does Captain Gidley have plans to use it for? “Well, I am definitely not switching careers and passing the test was just a personal goal for me,” said Gidley. “But saying that, as I am looking for the next opportunity with various team owners, not only will I sell myself as a winning race car driver, but I can also pilot your yacht! What other driver can do that?”
Along with being busy on the water, Gidley has also been non-stop driving and testing on the asphalt. Most recently, Gidley was out once again on Sears point, this time with co-driver and car owner Pierre Ehret, in their winning 997 Porsche Cup car from last year’s 25 Hour of Thunderhill race. “It was great to get out in the 997 again and I am really enjoying getting more and more familiar with driving a Porsche Cup racecar.” said Gidley.
Gidley was immediately up to speed and then clicked off times that they had never seen before around the 2.2 mile Sears Point racetrack in this car. “Being a rear engine sedan, the Porsche 997 feels to me much more like an open wheel or prototype race car as far as having a lot of weight on the rear.” said Gidley. “Some drivers have a problem coming to grips with this feeling, but for me I have always felt really comfortable with it and really like driving this car on the edge.”
And, then over the weekend, Gidley took his first laps driving a 1973 Lola T-282 sports racer in the Monterey Historics practice for the weekend’s race. The Monterey Historics is one of the premier vintage car race weekends with cars and drivers coming from all over the world to race cars from every year imaginable. “I have been fortunate to race and drive in a lot of events, but the Monterey Historics is something I have never competed in before and I am so excited!” said Gidley. Gidley’s car is owned by local driver Todd Smathers and fielded by intrepid Motorsports of Reno, NV.
“I have known Todd for a few years, and it all started with me doing some set up work in a few of his cars,” said Gidley. “I have done a number of set up days in the Lola that I am driving and am super stoked that Todd is now letting my get out and race it.”
This particular Lola is powered by a 3 litre V-8 putting out around 500 hp. It was sponsored by Gitanes back in the early 70’s. It raced both at Daytona and in the European LeMans series, along with the 24 Hours of LeMans in 1973.
Gidley was fastest in practice and clicking times that made him the car to watch. “Weighing in at only 1400lbs, this Lola feels so small and agile, yet has a ton of horsepower!, said Gidley. “The times I did yesterday were not far off the times I have done down here in the modern Daytona Prototype and LeMans cars, it gets with the program!”
Gidley ended up taking the victory in the Lola and couldn’t have been happier. “I am just having a blast driving this Lola and then just really enjoying being here at the Monterey Historics with all the other racers.” said Gidley. “There is just so much to enjoy being part of on a weekend like this and thanks to my car owner Todd Smathers and the Intrepid Team for making it happen for me.”