CHARLIE KIMBALL SIGNS WITH TEAM PBIR IN THE FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS
UPITER, FL (March 24, 2009) - - Palm Beach International Raceway today announced that Charlie Kimball will pilot the No. 35 Team PBIR Firestone Indy Lights car for the 2009 season.
"We are very excited about the partnership between Charlie and Team PBIR," stated Kane Williams, Palm Beach International Raceway Vice President of Motorsports. "He is a talented driver and will be an asset to our team both on and off the track."
The 24-year-old has forged a high-profile open-wheeled racing career including four race wins in the 2003 US Formula Ford 2000 Championship taking third-place finish in the final point standings. In 2004, Kimball made the jump to European Formula car racing where he achieved two race wins and five poles in the prestigious British Formula Ford.
For the 2005 season, the Southern California native graduated to British Formula 3 where he won five races, becoming the first American to win a British F3 race in 13 years. His results earned him a second-place finish in the point standings, only eclipsed by his much more experienced teammate. In 2006, Kimball became the first American to win a Formula 3 Euro Series race when he won at Zandvoort in the Netherlands.
Kimball then moved up to the 2007 World Series by Renault before having his season cut short in October. He was sidelined prior to the final two races with a diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes. However, his determination to achieve greatness in racing never halted. He worked with a team of diabetes specialists to return to optimal physical form and to the racetrack.
After achieving a better understanding of his diabetes, Kimball returned to the Formula 3 Euro Series and finished second in the opening round of the championship and his first race with diabetes in 2008. Now in 2009, Kimball moves back to racing in the US where he will be able to continue his racing dream as well as help educate people about diabetes.
In their inaugural Firestone Indy Lights season, Team PBIR brings a wealth of engineering and chassis setup experience. The combination of the driver and the team is destined to produce impressive results.
"I am really excited to drive for Team PBIR," stated Kimball. "While they are a new team, the infrastructure, engineers and team manager have been involved in the sport for long time. It is also neat to have people involved that shaped IndyCar Champions and Indy 500 winners working with me behind the scenes. All that experience will give me the tools that I need to get on the track, win, and be successful."
The No. 35 team makes their debut at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Fla.), April 3 - 5, 2009.
"I have not raced in the U.S. since 2003 and it is nice to come home. While I haven't raced on the Streets of St. Petersburg before, I have raced on street circuits at Macau, Pau and Monaco so I have some good experience. They all have their own unique quirks, but the most important task is getting to St. Pete and having our first practice session. That will really show us where we stand and we will build from there."