A Daytona Rolex 24 crash has left race car driver Memo Gidley with a broken back that will require surgery.
After surgery on his left arm and leg late Saturday, the 40-year-old driver will remain at Halifax Health in Daytona Beach until doctors repair an "unstable fracture" in his back, the Associated Press reported
"As you can imagine, we are devastated about what happened on track, but are hopeful that our friend and teammate Memo will make a full recovery," team owner Bob Stallings said Sunday. "Memo is receiving excellent care from the staff and doctors at Halifax Health."
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Gidley was apparently temporarily blinded by the setting sun which he was driving toward when his pole-winning car hit the rear of driver Matteo Malucelli's Ferrari, which was on the left side of the track moving at a snail's pace after reaching the three-hour mark of the prestigious endurance race.
Late Sunday, Malucelli's employer Ferrari's Corse Clienti released a statement on the driver's condition, explaining that "Malucelli remains under observation with severe cerebral concussion, but the situation is not critical," MotorAuthority.com reported.
Gidley had to be cut out of the No. 99 Corvette, which crumpled like an accordion upon impact, the AP noted.
"That was one scary crash that could have had a much worse outcome," teammate Alex Gurney told reporters. "We were able to see him and speak with him this morning. He is one tough guy, and he’s going to pull through this. I told him to take the rest of the day off."
Gurney and fellow teammates Jon Fogarty and Darren Law visited Gidley in the hospital Sunday morning.
"It’s great to see that he’s in good spirits," added Fogarty. "His positive attitude and physical fitness will be a huge asset in his recovery."
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