Memo Gidley, Trackmagic and an all-star driver lineup going for the win in this weekend's 4-hour Russell Racing Karting Enduro at Infineon Raceway Sonoma, California (11/22/05) -- Fresh off his Daytona Prototype victory in the Grand American...
Memo Gidley, Trackmagic and an all-star driver lineup going for the win in this weekend's 4-hour Russell Racing Karting Enduro at Infineon Raceway
Sonoma, California (11/22/05) -- Fresh off his Daytona Prototype victory in the Grand American Rolex Series season finale in Mexico City, Finlay Motorsports driver Memo Gidley will be competing in this weekend's 4th annual 4-hour Russell Racing Karting Enduro at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.
He will be teaming up with two of America's top kart racers, Gary Carlton, factory Trackmagic driver and recent 2nd-place finisher at SuperNationals VI; and Alex Speed, the current Stars ICC 05' Champion and brother of current Red Bull Formula One driver Scott Speed.
The trio will be racing a Trackmagic kart powered by a KartKey-built engine. Memo and Trackmagic are looking to reprise their 2003 victory in this event, and improve on the team's 2nd-place finish in last year's event.
"I've competed in this event for Trackmagic in the last two years, winning the first time and finishing second last year," said Gidley, "With Gary and Alex this is by far the best team of drivers that Trackmagic has assembled for this year's event. It's the final major event of the 2005 karting season, and we're working to finish out the year in the best way possible with a victory for Trackmagic. I wasn't born into karting, nor did I start at an early age like other drivers. Other than my dedication, the key to my success is that I drove for Trackmagic Karts from day one. When the owners of Trackmagic saw my desire and passion to compete, I was given everything I ever needed to win races; and I did."
Gidley and Trackmagic Karts have a long history together since he became a factory driver in 1993. The most coveted victory of Memo's standout karting career was being one of only two drivers -- the other being Scott Speed -- to twice win the highly sought after SuperNationals title in the 125cc shifter class (1996 and 1999).
"This is an amazing team, and it will be a tremendous learning experience for these young guys to work together as a team with a veteran like Memo," says Trackmagic owner Fausto Vitello. "He was the dominant kart racer of the 1990's, and was the first of his racing generation to make it on his own to the major leagues of auto racing. And if karting is supposed to produce the next generation of great racing drivers, these are the guys you'll be hearing about. For Memo, at this stage of his career, to keep giving back to the sport that gave him his start in racing by mentoring guys like Gary and Alex shows his true colors as a champion."
The race format requires a minimum of three drivers with mandatory pit stops every half hour. Since its inception, the Russell Racing Karting Enduro has become so popular that it sells out its 34 starting spots every year. The 4-hour event is scheduled to take the green flag at 12 noon on Sunday, November 27.
"Karts aren't really designed to go four hours without stopping, especially the motors" says Gidley. "Most of the karting Enduro's you hear or read about use slow concession-type motors to go the distance, but not this event. Last year I qualified on pole, and we ran our KartKey/Doug Sharp motor at 17,000 rpm for four hours, and never had a serious problem. The format of this race is very similar to the Grand-Am prototype racing I've been doing all season long with the Finlay Motorsports team -- drive as fast as you can for 4 hours, battling with some really awesome drivers. I can't wait!"
Gidley raced the Finlay Motorsports #19 Air Force Reserve / Make-A-Wish Foundation / Commercial Defeasance Dinan-powered Riley BMW in the 2005 Grand Am Rolex Series. Along with co-driver Michael McDowell, the duo finished 6th in the championship, scoring one victory, one 2nd-place, five top-5 and four top-10 finishes. For 2006, the Finlay Motorsports team will campaign a 2-car team of Ford-powered Crawford prototypes with Gidley and McDowell returning to battle for the championship along with new teammates Rob Finlay and Michael Valiante.