MEMO GIDLEY TO RUN FULL SEASON WITH DORAN RACING -- WILL CO-DRIVE ...
MEMO GIDLEY TO RUN FULL SEASON WITH DORAN RACING -- WILL CO-DRIVE #77 FEEDS THE NEED/DORAN RACING KODAK DALLARA FORD IN THIS WEEKEND'S ROLX 24 AT DAYTONA
Daytona International Speedway, FL (Jan. 22) -- Standout driver, Memo Gidley, who's resume spans the spectrum from karting to Champ Cars and stock cars to endurance racing, announced today that he has signed a full-season deal to co-drive the #77 Feeds the Need/Doran Racing Kodak Dallara Ford in the 2008 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.
Gidley, who lives in Novato, California, will co-drive throughout the season with Brad Jaeger, a fellow open-wheel racer who most recently competed in the Indy Pro Series and is now making the move to endurance racing. Joining the duo for the debut race of 2008, the 46th Annual Rolex 24 at Daytona, will be Gabriele Gardel and Fabrizio Gollin, both veterans of the European FIA GT Championship.
"Signing to run a full season with the Doran team is an exciting opportunity," says Gidley. "I ran a partial season with the team in 2007 and was impressed with their work ethic and the quality of the car preparation. And Kevin Doran personally is a very impressive individual with great personal integrity and a real passion for racing. Those are the qualities you see in championship-caliber teams, and I'm confident we will be a contender at Daytona and throughout the year."
The car Gidley and his co-drivers will be racing in the Rolex 24 is an updated version of the Doran/Ford the team used last year, designed and built by Doran Enterprises and Doran Designs. The car weighs 2,135 pounds, is powered by a 500 horsepower Ford engine built by NASCAR legend Roush/Yates Racing, and has a top speed of 200 mph. Doran is now the U.S. importer for Dallara, and the team will switch to an all-new racer for the remainder of the season.
"We ran the here in the pre-season Grand-Am series test at Daytona and were very competitive." said Gidley. "We left with a good idea of the basic setup we'll use for the race and all the drivers got valuable experience in the car, including running at night, pit stops and driver changes. To be competitive in this race it's essential that everyone be comfortable in the car and that everything is handled in a methodical manner; you don't want to be rushed because that's when mistakes get made."
Jose Guillermo "Memo" Gidley is a Mexican-American racing driver, of Norwegian and Canadian ancestry, born in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico. He holds dual citizenship - American and Mexican.
Memo began his path to racing cars working at the Jim Russell Racing School based in California, as a mechanic. After his early time as a mechanic, Memo went on to drive and win many races and championships in the junior open wheel formulas and also become one of the top kart racers in the country. Memo's junior success gave him an opportunity to break into Champ Car with Derrick Walker in 1999. In 38 Champ Car races between 1999 and 2003, driving for such teams as Walker Racing, Dale Coyne Racing, Players-Forsythe Racing, Della Penna Motorsports, Target Chip Ganassi Racing, and Rocketsports Racing, Gidley's record included three podium finishes, four top-5s and numerous top-10s.
In 2005 Memo drove for Finlay Motorsports in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. Memo and his Finlay team finished in 6th place in the season championship, including a victory in the Mexico City season finale -- with Memo becoming the first ever Mexican-born driver to win a professional race in Mexico. In 2006, Gidley and the Finlay team finished 4th in the Rolex championship, including a 2nd-place finish in the season finale at Miller Motorsports Park. He then joined Highcroft Racing for the Petit Le Mans season finale of the American Le Mans Series, helping the team score its first podium finish.
In 2007, Gidley drove both the #77 Doran Racing/Kodak Daytona Prototype and the SunTrust Racing Daytona Prototype in the Grand-Am Series a season highlighted by two podium finishes. He again raced a P1 prototype in the ALMS Petit Le Mans finale, again finishing on the podium with Team Cytosport. In post-season testing with the Cytosport Muscle Milk Lola/AER LMP1 car, Gidley smashed track record at Northern California's 12 turn, 2.53 mile Infineon Raceway with a lap of 1:20.12.
"I've been fortunate to be with some very good teams and have had a lot of experience and success racing prototypes," says Gidley. "With that experience to build on, I'm excited about driving for the Doran team this season. We have a very solid lineup of good drivers with long-distance experience, the crew is hard working and dedicated, Kodak and our other sponsors are engaged. All this makes me not only very excited for this race but for the rest of the season. We will be in the battle for the championship."