Top Ten at Oschersleben for Kimball Charlie Kimball continued to improve in the Formula 3 Euroseries this past weekend at the Motopark Oschersleben in eastern Germany. While his qualifying of 16th was disappointing and unrepresentative of his...
Top Ten at Oschersleben for Kimball
Charlie Kimball continued to improve in the Formula 3 Euroseries this past weekend at the Motopark Oschersleben in eastern Germany. While his qualifying of 16th was disappointing and unrepresentative of his true pace, the young American kept his head up. He was able to make steady progress in the races and at the same time improve the handling of the car dramatically. In Race 1, at a circuit where it is very difficult to overtake, Kimball moved from 16th place to 10th, even passing one car around the outside. Race 2 ended after only 4 laps when Kimball struck debris entering the fast right hand turn 10, pitching him off the circuit and into the wall. He was running a solid 8th place at the time, right on the back of the leading train of cars.
Kimball's qualifying effort was hampered by limited circuit knowledge as the first time he had driven the circuit was in Friday's one hour free practice. He also struggled with an imbalance in the car that made the handling very unpredictable meaning he couldn't get the best from his new Kumho tires. His final lap time placed him 16th, a very disappointing result for the 21 year old. The young American spoke of the car afterwards, "I really struggled with the set-up and handling and couldn't put a full lap together. I am sure we can make the car better for the races, but it is so difficult to pass here that I am going to have to work very hard for a good result."
Race 1 saw Kimball move up the order from his 16th grid spot to a 10th place finish, improving the most of any driver in the field. The Californian driver demonstrated his race-craft throughout the race by completing multiple passes around the outside of his competitors. The Signature driver missed starting on pole for the second race by only two positions, but he was still positive about the weekend's possibilities. He said "I proved it is possible to pass here, but I fell just a bit short! We made a big step with the car for today and I know there is a lot we can improve for tomorrow's race."
Kimball started the shorter second race where he finished the first race, 10th on the grid. However after a solid first lap, he had moved up to ninth and was soon promoted to 8th when another driver had a major off track excursion. Kimball was pressuring his teammate for seventh when the car snapped away from him entering turn 10. The resulting spin at high speed meant that he lightly hit the wall and broke his rear wing. The damage was enough to end his day early, but the Californian was positive nonetheless. "The car was tremendously better today," said Kimball. "Usually the first few laps are the hardest, but the car was so good I could pressure (teammate) Romain Grosjean easily. I thought I had dropped a wheel off the track when I spun, but after looking at the car and the data, I am sure I hit something just big enough to put me off."
Kimball is now looking forward to a guest appearance in the British championship at the street circuit of Pau in the south of France, June 4-6. He enthused about Pau, "I can't wait to race there! The team being French is excited about this opportunity and I am really looking forward to the experience."