Kyle Gimple returns to a track that already has brought some highlights.
Kansas City, Kan. – It may be a new race weekend for Kyle Gimple at Kansas Speedway this week, but the 22-year-old Compass360 Racing driver is still riding the high from his GS class performance at Lime Rock two weeks ago. In a breakthrough drive to the checkered flag, Gimple finished second in his Subaru debut with the team and co-driver Ryan Eversley after the duo started the race from 26th on the starting grid.
Gimple carries that big momentum into this weekend’s ST race at Kansas as the two GS & ST divisions are competing alongside each other once again.
He returns to a track that already has brought some highlights, as Gimple and Eversley took third in last year’s inaugural Kansas event and together target a return trip to the podium with the No. 75 Children's Tumor Foundation/ HPD/Racing4research.org Honda Civic Si in search of valuable points toward the 2014 championship.
“We haven’t had the start to the season we wanted,” said Gimple, who has seen three frustrating race outings through the opening four events. “We still have a shot at the championship, but everything has to go to plan from here on out. We can’t have any more mulligans so hopefully we already got all of the bad luck out of the way and we’ll just get back to the same consistency that we had last season.”
Kansas Speedway uses a large section of the oval with a short section of infield road course which makes it a challenge for the various manufacturers competing in IMSA. But Gimple showed he was up to the challenge in last year’s race and is ready to take on Round 5 of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge at Kansas after a disappointing ST race at Lime Rock Park.
“The Porsche Caymans will be strong here,” added Gimple. “Top speed on the oval is key and we struggled a little at Daytona to be in the top-10 so it should be interesting. It’s a simple track, but Turn 1 is deceiving because you think you can brake really deep but that’s not the case. Taking care of the brakes will be key just like at Daytona. Lime Rock was a hard pill to swallow with the contact in ST we had there, but we will just head to Kansas and hope for better.”
It will be a quick race weekend for Gimple who will participate in two 1-hour practice sessions before a 15-minute qualifying session Friday night at 9:10 PM central time. The 2.5-hour Grand Prix of Kansas will go green on Saturday at 6:15 PM CT.