Sports car and open wheel veteran Memo Gidley, who sustained a broken left leg, left elbow and compression fracture in his lower back during the Rolex 24 at Daytona, was released from Halifax Health in Daytona Beach Wednesday and was being medically transported by airplane to northern California to continue his recovery, Gidley's GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team announced Wednesday.
Gidley was driving the pole-winning car into an infield kink and facing directly into the setting sun when the crash occurred near the three-hour mark of the prestigious round-the-clock endurance race. As Gidley tried to pass a slower car, he pulled to the left and didn't see Matteo Malucelli off the pace. He drove directly into Malucelli's Ferrari at nearly full speed.
Malucelli was held at Halifax overnight but was released the next day and returned home to Italy.
Gidley immediately underwent surgeries for his leg and elbow and underwent a lengthy surgery on his back on Monday, Jan. 27, his team said. Another surgery on a fractured heel was completed on Jan. 31.
"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," team owner Bob Stallings said in a statement. "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."
His recovery is expected to take several months.
Gidley, who was born in Mexico and has dual citizenship, is an experienced sports car driver. He was involved in a scary crash in a CART race in 2001 while driving for Chip Ganassi Racing. His car went off course and struck a concrete bridge abutment. Gidley broke an arm.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.