Memo Gidley released from hospital, returns home to California

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This story broke last night but it’s good news nonetheless. Memo Gidley, who was injured in a serious accident at this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, has been released from Halifax Health in Daytona Beach, Fla. and was medically transported by air to his home in Northern California.

The release follows three surgeries after the accident. On the day of the accident itself, Jan. 25, he had surgery to repair a broken left leg and left elbow, and endured a lengthy surgery to repair a compression fracture in his lower back on Monday, Jan. 27. The final surgery was completed on Friday, Jan. 31 to repair a fracture in his left heel.  He has spent the days following his final surgery resting and gathering strength for the medical transport across the country.

“I’m extremely happy and relieved to see Memo taking the next step in his recovery process,” team owner Bob Stallings said in a release. “Memo has been stabilized enough so he can make the flight to northern California and be transferred to another medical facility which has a very capable protocol for handling the types of injuries and recovery process that Memo requires. The doctors and nurses from Halifax have done a terrific job in getting him to this point, and I know that Memo is appreciative of it and everything that has been done on his behalf.”

Gidley also had a statement from the team release, as he begins the next phase of his recovery.

“I’ve had great care while I have been here at Halifax,” Gidley said. “From the nursing staff to the doctors, I appreciate all they have done for me.  I know it will take a while for me to get back on my feet, but I will be working hard for all the fans, friends and family who have been pulling for me since the accident.”

With Gidley’s concern and recovery first and foremost on Stallings’ and the team’s mind, the GAINSCO group has not yet revealed the next phase of its racing plans for 2014. The GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team planned only to race in the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup rounds of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

Williams confirms Kubica and Sirotkin for Abu Dhabi F1 test

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Williams has confirmed that Robert Kubica will enjoy his third Formula 1 test outing with the team at the end-of-season running in Abu Dhabi next week as rumors grow regarding a possible race seat for 2018.

Almost seven years after his last F1 start, Kubica’s remarkable return from severe injuries sustained in a rally accident saw him enjoy two private tests with Renault before completing running with the team in a 2017-spec car in Hungary over the summer.

Reservations over Kubica’s capabilities prompted Renault to pass on giving him a seat, instead opting to hire Carlos Sainz Jr. for next year, only for Williams to become an alternative for the Pole.

Kubica tested a 2014-spec Williams at both Silverstone and the Hungaroring in recent months, and will now sample a 2017 car when he tests at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kubica will share track time with regular Williams racer Lance Stroll and Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin, who has worked with Renault over the past two years but also missed out on a 2018 seat.

“Williams Martini Racing is pleased to confirm it will run Robert Kubica and Sergey Sirotkin for the Abu Dhabi Pirelli tire test, alongside current race driver Lance Stroll,” a statement from the team reads.

“The Pirelli tire test will take place over two days at the Yas Marina circuit during the week following the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“On day one Robert Kubica will drive the FW40 in the morning session, before Lance Stroll takes over in the afternoon.

“On day two Sergey Sirotkin will drive in the morning and afternoon sessions before handing over to Robert in the late afternoon.

“The test is aimed at evaluating 2018 candidate tires on behalf of the Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli.

“Williams is excited to have this opportunity to assess the new tyres across such an interesting range of drivers: Lance, as confirmed race driver for 2018, Robert with his huge experience, and Sergey as a very promising young talent in Formula 1.”

Williams denied earlier this week it has signed Kubica to partner Stroll for 2018, but indications are the deal looks very likely to go ahead, subject to the relevant paperwork and contracts being finalized.