Kimball Struggles in Germany This weekend at the famous Nurburgring circuit, rookie Charlie Kimball scored solid championship points by finishing seventh and fifth in rounds 17 and 18 of the British International Formula 3 Championship. The ...
Kimball Struggles in Germany
This weekend at the famous Nurburgring circuit, rookie Charlie Kimball scored solid championship points by finishing seventh and fifth in rounds 17 and 18 of the British International Formula 3 Championship. The young American struggled all weekend with car set-up problems which meant he was only able to qualify eight and fifth for Races 1 and 2 respectively. At a circuit where passing is difficult, Kimball faced a large challenge in both races.
Qualifying for Race 1 was a tough proposition since all of the drivers had such a short amount of time to learn the Grand Prix circuit. Kimball, in addition to learning the new track, struggled with car handling problems and qualified 8th, his worst qualifying since the very first round of the Championship, back in April. After some major changes to the car, Kimball was right back on the pace in second qualifying, improving on his first qualifying time by close to 1.5 seconds.
"We really struggled in first qualifying," said Kimball. "It just wasn't working but we solved the problem and the car was infinitely better for second qualifying. I am disappointed but I know I can go racing now!"
Race 1 presented Kimball with a new challenge, starting on the fourth row. The young American was intent on making it through the first corner and was able to hold his position despite the chaos around him. He then battled cleanly with Marco Asmer and teammate Christian Bakkerud, ultimately gaining one position.
"The start was chaos! I got tagged from behind going into the first corner which pushed me wide and then there were four cars sliding towards me up the inside," commented the rookie after Race 1. "I held my position and made it through cleanly and focused on gaining more championship points."
The grid for Race 2 presented additional challenges with two unlikely drivers on the front row. Again the start was critical and Kimball was able to make a good start and over take championship veteran Asmer. However Mike Conway passed the American in a bold move around the outside, meaning Kimball maintained his position in fifth. As is typical at the Nurburgring, the remainder of the race continued as a procession.
"It was a tough race, my tires didn't come in right away so I struggled at the start," said a disappointed Kimball. "It turned into follow the leader pretty much after the first couple of corners, although Marco did try to have a go once!"
By finishing fifth in race two, Kimball earned additional critical championship points although the title is now out of reach.
"I am pretty secure in second place and for Rookie of the Year but I need to maintain the momentum for the last two rounds," said the young Californian. "I am still learning each time I get in the car and that remains my goal: learn and develop as a driver."
Kimball will continue his testing and fitness program in preparation for the penultimate Championship meeting to be held at Mondello Park in Ireland, September 16th and 17th.