Road Atlanta: Memo Gidley race report

Memo Gidley Scores Second Consecutive Podium Finish at Petit Le Mans in ...

Memo Gidley Scores Second Consecutive Podium Finish at Petit Le Mans in #06 Team Cytosport LMP1 Lola

Memo Gidley added another page to his already stellar resume at the 2007 running of the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta with his second consecutive podium finish as co-driver, with Greg Pickett and Klaus Graf, of the #06 Team Cytosport LMP1 B06/14 AER Lola. Gidley finished on the podium last year as well, co-driving the Highcroft Racing prototype.

The race started well for the Cytosport team, with Graf, who qualified the car in 10th taking the first stint and moving up several places. Pickett was in the car next and again moved up the running order. Gidley was third up in the driving order and ready for a good run when chance contact with a GT2 Porsche caused some minor damage that nevertheless required some time in the pits to repair.

"It was just one of those things that sometimes happen during a 10-hour race with GT cars; I thought he saw me but apparently didn't and we made contact in turn 1. It wound up causing us some brake problems that we had to come in and fix," says Gidley, who also ran the Petit Le Mans in 1999 with the Panoz factory team. "It says a lot for the quality of the Cytosport team that, once we got the damage fixed, we ran the rest of the race with no problems at all. And it really speaks to the dedication of the team and my co-drivers that we were able to score a podium finish against top teams from around the world."

Gidley, who has raced and won in everything from karts to Champ Cars, Is a long-time member of the Cytosport roster of top athletes that ranges from football legend Jerry Rice to X-Games star Kody Wright. He brought extensive experience, both at Road Atlanta and in prototype endurance racing, to the Cytosport team. He spent two seasons with the Finlay Motorsports team, winning the Rolex Daytona Prototype season finale in Mexico City in 2005. In addition to his two previous drives in the Petit Le Mans, he has also been a regular driver this year with the #77 Doran Kodak team in Grand-Am Rolex races. He also co-drove three races for championship-contending SunTrust team during the 2007 season, finishing on the podium twice.

Team Cytosport owner Greg Pickett raced in the Trans-Am series for nearly 30 years and was the series champion in 1978. Pickett is also the founder of CytoSport, a company on the cutting edge of sports nutrition science, providing a wide range of the highest quality dietary supplements to professional and amateur athletes striving to reach their potential.

Graf, a former test driver for McLaren and former Panoz factory driver, was also the Trans-Am series champion in 2005. The car that the trio of Gidley, Picket and Graf will be racing this weekend is one raced by Dyson Racing in the 2006 American Le Mans Series that threatened the dominance of the Audi R10 TDI during the second half of the season. AER supplied the team with a newly developed 4.0-liter, turbocharged V8.

"It was great to co-drive with Greg, who has been a big supporter of mine for years," says Gidley. "He and his company are located very near me in Northern California, so I'm over there all the time checking out the latest Cytosport products, which are a regular part of my physical training program. And Klaus is a great driver, just the kind of teammate you want, confident, always making progress with the car. The team's goal for next year is to run more American Le Mans races, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and I'm looking forward to be part of that program. LeMans is an amazing race that I have only read about. I know that it is a dream of Greg's, and it is definitely a dream of mine to race in that historic race.."

-credit: www.MemoGidley.com

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Klaus Graf , Memo Gidley , Greg Pickett