BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (July 19, 2007) – Sports car and open-wheel-racing veteran Memo Gidley has joined the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley team of Wayne Taylor Racing for this weekend’s Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park.
Gidley replaces France’s Jonathan Cochet, who was originally slated to make his fourth appearance with the SunTrust team in the last five races alongside regular driver Max Angelelli this weekend. Immigration paperwork issues encountered during his travels Wednesday from Paris to Birmingham, however, led U.S. officials to send him back to France to resolve them.
The 35-year-old Gidley was the 2005 Rolex Series race winner at Mexico City. In 2005 and 2006, he piloted the No. 19 Finlay Motorsports entry and at the first seven Rolex Series events this season co-drove the No. 77 Kodak Ford Doran. He brings a vast and colorful racing resume to his first outing with the SunTrust team. After championship-contending seasons in Toyota Atlantics during the early to mid-1990s, Gidley graduated to the Champ Car ranks in 1999 and quickly earned a reputation as a "Super Sub" for his ability to jump into a race car on short notice and generate results. He drove a 15-race stretch in 2001 with the Target Chip Ganassi Racing team during which he produced three podium finishes and four top-fives.
"We’re delighted to have Memo join us this weekend at Barber," said team owner Wayne Taylor. "It’s unfortunate that Jonathan had problems with his paperwork because he’s done a solid job for us in the three races he’s driven, and he is also very familiar with the Barber track. Memo, however, has been on our radar for quite some time but it hasn’t worked out until now that he is able to join us. Memo won the Rolex race in Mexico City back in ’05 on the day Max and I clinched the championship for SunTrust. He also finished second to us here in Birmingham that year. So we are more than confident he and Max can keep us in championship mode this weekend."
Cochet co-drove to finishes of third (Watkins Glen), fourth (Mid-Ohio) and second (Daytona) in his three stints with the SunTrust team thus far. In seven races driving for the Doran team this season, Gidley has a top finish of seventh at the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Gidley is on hand with the SunTrust team for today’s promoter test day at Barber. Official practice begins Friday morning with qualifying set for 11:25 a.m. EDT Saturday. Race time Sunday is 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by SPEED-TV. A detailed weekend schedule, as well as live timing and scoring during all on-track sessions, can be found at http://www.grand-am.com/.
SunTrust Banks, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, is one of the nation's largest banking organizations, serving a broad range of consumer, commercial, corporate and institutional clients. As of March 31, 2007, SunTrust had total assets of $186.4 billion and total deposits of $123.4 billion. The Company operates an extensive branch and ATM network throughout the high-growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states and a full array of technology-based, 24-hour delivery channels. The Company also serves customers in selected markets nationally. Its primary businesses include deposit, credit, trust and investment services. Through various subsidiaries the Company provides credit cards, mortgage banking, insurance, brokerage, equipment leasing and capital markets services. SunTrust’s Internet address is suntrust.com.