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.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

Audi Sport
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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”