Memo Gidley’s good news continues. On Sept. 23 – a week after returning to race for the first time in three and a half years – Gidley will join a debut effort by drivers Cavan O’Keefe and Mike McAleenan in a Maserati GT4 at the four-hour Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The entry is a joint effort from Lowe Group Racing and Motorsport USA, the official team of Washington state-based Ridge Motorsports Park.
“Laguna is where I went to my first Indy car race as a spectator and got hooked,” said Gidley, who lives in Sausalito. “My first race was in one of Jim Russell’s cars. Laguna is very special to me and holds a lot of great memories.”
Team principal O’Keefe and McAleenan will be making their IMSA GS debuts. O’Keefe has been working for the past year to put this program together; the team completed a shakedown at Ridge Mototsport Park and a two-day test in Monterey in last August. The Laguna Seca round will serve as a test for a potential entry in 2018.
“Having been a part time participant in the ST category I loved what IMSA and Continental Tire had to offer from the quality of the racing, to the overall experience,” he said. “I wanted to get a Seattle team involved. We look forward to showing them what we have, hopefully it rains because we have guys who are used to it!”
It was previously announced that Gidley, who has endured nine surgeries and three years of rehabilitation after a horrible crash in the 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona, would make his return to racing in the Pirelli World Challenge Series’ GT Sprint doubleheader at Sonoma Raceway Sept. 14-16.
“Memo was one of my biggest inspirations in becoming a driver; his story of being a grass-roots driver and transitioning into a full time successful racer echoes my story,” said Lowe Group Racing team owner and MUSA principal Jerold Lowe. “Both of us got into motorsports racing later in the game, have had our health struggles and pushed through. He’s an inspiration.”