And as his turn at Mid-Ohio showed – he’s reaping the benefits with the regimen of physical preparedness. And his great desire to return to competition. And win.
“As you get older, you just realize how lucky you are, and also I definitely realized how many people – over the racing I’ve done – have helped to get me where I am,’’ Gidley said. “You really appreciate that.
“I think when you’re younger, you kind of forget some of that stuff and are just trying to get up (the racing ladder) as quickly as possible. But getting on the podium … we’re racing cars, so you have to realize it’s a pretty cool thing to do as a hobby or as a profession. And you just have to go out there and have fun, appreciate what you’re doing and do the best you can.’’
Gidley becomes animated speaking about his young co-driver Koreiba, 25, and the great vibe on the team. He says he is both helping Koreiba and learning from him. And the AL/JDC team, he says, is made up not only of quality, top-shelf engineers and leaders, but “good people.’’
It’s all provided the kind of comeback story that motivates the mind as much as it warms the heart.
“Maybe I wish I wasn’t an example because maybe that means I wouldn’t have had that crash in 2014,’’ Gidley concedes. “I was thinking about that this morning. As crazy as it sounds, I’ve enjoyed this experience after 2014, even though it was really difficult for a number of years. Especially now, how appreciative everyone is that I’m actually out there, and I’m appreciating being out there and able to do it.
“My whole deal now is about living your prime now,’’ he continues. “A lot of people think your prime is when you’re 20 or you’re 30 – and from then it goes downhill. I’ll tell you it does get a lot harder. The days I spend in the gym preparing, it’s harder to maintain and get to the strength you want to, but you’ve got to just go for it.
“You can’t get sidetracked and think it’s not going to happen. It’s cool I can kind of inspire people to just get out there and do what they enjoy: live their life, do what they enjoy and do it well.’’
Combined with their third-place finish at the Daytona International Speedway season opener in January, Gidley and Koreiba are just 20 points out of the Prototype Challenge standings lead. The series returns to action July 3 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.