Muscle Milk MEGA Athlete, Memo Gidley, was back at the 11th annual National Auto Sport Association’s United States Air Force 25 Hours of Thunderhill this weekend at Willows, Calif. Driving the Award Motorsports/Ehret Family Vineyards Porsche 997, Gidley was joined by fellow drivers Anthony Ward, Pierre Ehret, Tyler McQuarrie, Vic Rice and Tommy Sadler for this year’s race.
“I was really excited looking forward to the race,” said Gidley. “NASA and the Thunderhill Park race track have created a massive event flavored with all types of drivers…and cars. To me it feels like what I imagine racing to have been in the past. I think the motto for this event should be if you build it you can race it!”
Award Motorsports, although using their trusty Porsche 997, did make some changes since last year. “The team made some big upgrades in the horse power and aero department to the #00 Porsche, and with a very solid driver lineup, I felt going in we had a great shot at another victory,” said Gidley. “We were very strong in practice and qualified 6th out of the massive 70 car field.”
In early going, the Award Motorsports Porsche did suffer a few issues but still remained in the top five. “Our team got off to a great start and had just a few minor issues such as a penalty for passing under the yellow, one unscheduled pit stop for minor contact with a tire barrier, and a splitter that got knocked off after a slight off track excursion,” said Gidley. “To most this might sound like a big deal, but in this race with as many different cars and drivers and with such varied experience levels that we are racing, these things happen. I was not worried at all.”
And Memo was right, when he stepped out of the car at 9:30pm after nearly a three hour stint, the #00 was sitting in second place. “After falling asleep in the motor home, I was super happy with how the race was unfolding and fully expected that the next knock on the door would be a driver call for me to get back in the car,” said Gidley. “I did get the knock on the door, but unfortunately it was to say that we were done.”
The #00 had suffered terminal gearbox failure at the hour twelve mark and the race was now over for the Award Motorsports #00.
“It was a big disappointment but I have been in racing long enough to know that some things are just out of your control,” said Gidley. “With that said, I was really happy with how everybody on the team performed and with how the car was running. We had great pace, and were really on schedule to repeat before the mechanical happened. I look forward to another shot next year!”