Memo Gidley stood on the top step of the podium this past weekend during Round #8 of the Sanzura Karting Championship. Memo was driving for RattleSnake Electric in the EV Kart class for Electric Karts.
“RattleSnake is a team I work for on the race weekends, helping them with coaching and tuning for the normal group of drivers,” said Gidley. “This weekend we had two guys unable to make the race and so I, of course, volunteered myself to fill in one of the awesome EV karts.”
The other seat was filled with Kyle Loh for the heat races and by multi-time karting champion and local kart team owner Ron White for the main event race.
Gidley started the weekend off nicely by putting his #88 EV kart on pole over this year’s point’s leader, Enzo Prevost. “Qualifying is something I am used to… go as fast as you can for three laps.” said Memo. “The races I knew were going to be much harder because battery management is something I am not doing on a regular basis in my gas powered shifter!”
Memo ran perfectly in the first two shorter 8-lap heat races by following the competition, conserving his kart’s energy and only making the passes for the lead with a couple of laps to go. “Frankly, I have been watching and telling my fellow EV kart drivers how to race all year long and now it was time to practice what I preach!” said Gidley. “The 8-lap heat races were one thing, but a 13-lap main event would be the ultimate test of my patience against some very fast and smart drivers.”
For the final, Ron White took over the other vacant EV kart so the grid was set. The race started and Gidley within a few laps had fallen back to fourth place. “When I was passed for the lead and the guys in front started battling each other, I was just hoping they would continue to battle and burn energy,” said Memo. “I was so happy to see it all happen right in front of me and knew this was my race to win. I was just trying to drive as smooth and energy free as possible… licking my chops the entire way!”
Indeed, patience paid off and on lap ten and eleven, Gidley went from 4th to 1st and then held on for the win. “It was great to be patient and then come home for the win,” said Gidley. “Team owner Richard Hilleman has developed some awesome EV karts that really mirror what goes on in the very popular International Formula E Series. I had a great time driving the #88 EV Kart to get a feel of what battery management is all about.”