Late Spin Leaves USA with 10th Place Finish in A1GP Season Four Opener ZANDVOORT, The Netherlands - A late spin off course left Andretti Green Racing and Team USA driver Charlie Kimball with a 10th place finish in the feature race at today's...
Late Spin Leaves USA with 10th Place Finish in A1GP Season Four Opener
ZANDVOORT, The Netherlands - A late spin off course left Andretti Green Racing and Team USA driver Charlie Kimball with a 10th place finish in the feature race at today's A1GP Zandvoort at Circuit Park Zandvoort.
Kimball, who finished eighth in the morning's sprint race to secure Andretti Green's first point in A1GP World Cup of Motorsport competition, overcame an early spin in poor weather conditions during the feature race to battle back to the front of the field as the race reached its second pit window. However, as Kimball cycled to P1 and prepared to make his second stop, the USA machine stepped out in a gust of wind and spun into the gravel trap at Turn 5. Kimball had just set the fastest lap of the race, which ultimately led to another point gained for the USA team.
France claimed the feature race victory and was followed by Malaysia, which picked up a win in the sprint race. New Zealand, Australia and the Netherlands rounded out the feature race top five.
Kimball's 10th place finish secured a third point on the day for the Andretti Green crew, which places them in a tie for 10th place in the current A1GP standings.
The next A1GP World Cup of Motorsport event is scheduled for Chengdu, China, Nov. 7-9. Practice is slated for Nov. 7, qualifying for Nov. 8 and race day takes place Nov. 9.
Charlie Kimball, Andretti Green Racing, Team USA:
"The conditions (in Zandvoort) were diabolical. The feature race had gale force winds and pouring rain the whole time. It was to the point where, if there was another car on the straight in front of you, you couldn't see. The visibility was really bad.
"In the sprint race, we went a direction with the car that had some positives, but also gave me a balance problem that I struggled with the whole race. As a result, we only moved up from ninth to eighth and that's where we ended up. But, all in all, we learned a lot from it and learned a lot about what the car needs in the wet weather and how the car reacts to different changes.
"In the feature race, we spun on the first lap when I was going through the fast corner out the back. I hit a puddle, couldn't see, aquaplaned and spun. But, I kept the engine running, got back into it quite a way behind the pack and began to run consistent laps to try to reel people in. As people pitted and race went on, we cycled toward the front, made up some ground and then had a good, clean pit stop.
"When the second pit window opened, everyone peeled into the pit lane and I was setting quick lap times. I knew the situation, I knew that we were in the second pit window and I knew that I was close enough to the two cars ahead of me that if I laid quick enough lap times while they were in the pits and on cold tires that I could leap-frog them during our pit stop. I cycled through to P1, set the fastest lap of the race and then on the next lap, as I went into the fast right-hander out the back on the crest of the hill (Turn 5), I caught a gust of wind. Before I even turned in, the car snapped and I was backwards in the gravel. I wasn't event really pushing because I knew how dangerous the wind was in the corner.
"Overall, the car ran flawlessly and the crew did a great job. Everyone worked brilliantly. The car is quick and going to get quicker. Whoever gets in this car should be up front. It doesn't matter who is driving; the car is going to be that good and that competitive week in, week out.
"It's just frustrating not to get the result. The guys deserve a better result than 10th in the gravel. I wish I'd have brought it home where it belonged. We were just really firing on all cylinders this afternoon and I just really couldn't pay them back. That hurts me a little bit."