Kimball Claims First British Formula 3 Podium
Charlie Kimball stepped onto the podium for the first time this season with a third place finish in the British Formula 3 International Championship at the Scottish Knockhill circuit. After a Race 1 incident sidelined Kimball, he recovered in Race 2 coming from fifth on the grid to a solid third place finish. The valuable championship points Kimball accrued in the second race promotes the young American into the top 10 in the Championship table.
The young Californian again showed his adaptability by qualifying sixth for Race 1 on a dry track and fifth for Race 2 on a rain-soaked circuit. In both sessions, Kimball's times were within half a second of the pole time. The wet second qualifying session posed more challenges than a typical wet session because of visibility-reducing spray from the large number of F3 cars on the short Knockhill circuit.
Kimball spoke about qualifying, "The two sessions could not have been more different. I made the best of the chances I had and am very happy to be on the third row for both races."
The Californian's first race was over almost before it began. On a torrentially wet circuit, Kimball made a good start and was challenging for fifth place when into the first corner, Marko Asmer hit Kimball's right rear corner sending the American into an uncontrollable spin. As he tried to recover, Dan Clarke crashed into the spinning Yank ending both driver's races on the spot.
Kimball was fuming mad afterwards, "I don't know how I am supposed to avoid being run into from behind! Marko claims Dan started a chain reaction but Dan is trying to claim he was the innocent bystander. I can't wait to see the TV footage so I can understand whom to avoid next time."
The result of Race 1 left Kimball wondering when his luck was going to change but he didn't have to wait long. Race 2 began on a dry track and the Carlin Motorsport driver made a good start to hold his fifth position into the first corner. Coming into the hairpin for the first time, Kimball relinquished one position to an ambitious Mike Conway but was soon promoted back to fifth when Tim Bridgeman went into to wall on lap 2. Kimball was promoted again when Ryan Lewis spun after an incident with Asmer and finally took the crucial third when Mike Conway's engine expired on lap 23.
Kimball was ecstatic with the result, "When Mike make the aggressive passing move on the first lap, I let him go because I needed to concentrate on finishing and scoring points. From then on it was a case of missing the carnage in front of me and running consistently fast lap times. It has been a long time since an American was on the podium in British F3 and I am looking forward to more."
Kimball carries the momentum from this weekend into his preparations for the races at the fast and flowing Thruxton circuit this coming weekend, May 28th and 29th.