FAN FAVORITE MEMO GIDLEY IN THE LIMELIGHT THIS WEEKEND AT THE TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH WILL PROVIDE A SPEEDY EXIT FOR PAUL NEWMAN, DRIVE CELEBRITIES IN 2-SEATER CHAMP CAR Finlay Motorsports driver Memo Gidley is headed into the kind of ...
FAN FAVORITE MEMO GIDLEY IN THE LIMELIGHT THIS WEEKEND AT THE TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH WILL PROVIDE A SPEEDY EXIT FOR PAUL NEWMAN, DRIVE CELEBRITIES IN 2-SEATER CHAMP CAR
Finlay Motorsports driver Memo Gidley is headed into the kind of weekend he could scarcely have imagined when he was a kid first starting to race go-karts. As part of the activities surrounding this weekend's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Gidley will participate in a kart race between Tonight Show host Jay Leno and movie legend Paul Newman. The segment, shot earlier in the day, will be shown on the Tonight Show Friday night (11:34 pm ET).
Newman, who co-owns the 2004 series championship-winning Newman/Haas Racing team, will appear on the NBC late-night program Friday night talking with host Jay Leno about his movie career as well as the Champ Car World Series, which opens its season on the streets of Long Beach this weekend.
After their discussion, the scene will shift to the parking lot where Newman will square off against Leno in a go-kart race, with play-by-play commentary provided by Champ Car television announcer Derek Daly. Newman and former Champ Car driver Memo Gidley will then leave the set in the 750 hp two-seat Champ Car.
On Sunday, at the grand prix track in the streets of downtown Long Beach, Gidley will provide celebrities and reporters with the thrill of their lives 180 mph `demonstration laps' in a 2-seater Champ Car.
And Gidley fans should be sure to tune in for a little surprise during the live NBC broadcast of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach beginning at 4:00 pm ET, Sunday, April 10.
"My hat's off to anyone brave enough to climb in the back seat of a Champ Car," says Gidley, who has made 38 Champ Car starts. "A ride in a Champ Car makes the hairiest roller coaster in the world feel like a ride in a baby carriage. It's got to be like what a pilot feels going into a dogfight in an Air Force Reserve jet; everyone who has ever had a chance to ride in the 2-seater has gotten out either speechless or screaming."
Although Gidley is best known for his Champ Car racing, in 2005 he drives the #19 Air Force Reserve / Make-A-Wish Foundation Riley BMW Finlay Motorsports in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series. The Rolex Series is for high-tech, prototype sports cars competing in endurance races ranging from 3 hours to 24 hours.
The next Rolex Series race for Gidley and the Finlay team is the U.S. Sports Car Invitational at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California on April 29 May 1.