Kimball Battles through at Brands Hatch American driver Charlie Kimball had a difficult weekend in the Formula 3 Euroseries race at the British circuit of Brands Hatch, July 1-2, 2006. The whole Signature team struggled with the set up of the...
Kimball Battles through at Brands Hatch
American driver Charlie Kimball had a difficult weekend in the Formula 3 Euroseries race at the British circuit of Brands Hatch, July 1-2, 2006. The whole Signature team struggled with the set up of the car all weekend and as a result, a qualifying position of 14th, while disappointing, wasn't completely unexpected. On the short Indy configuration where passing is impossible the young American could not make any progress in the 57-lap first race, finishing exactly where he started in 14th. The start of the second race saw the 21-year-old make up one place and then be promoted to 11th when three cars ahead of him were penalized for jumping the start.
Qualifying proved to be a difficult situation for all the drivers with 23 cars competing for clear track on the short 1.96km Brands Hatch Indy circuit. Kimball made the most of the car he had as he ran his fastest laps of the whole weekend in qualifying. Unfortunately, the set up wasn't optimal and his time was only good enough for 14th on the grid.
Kimball commented afterwards, "The package just isn't fast enough to be higher on the grid than this. It is extremely disappointing as I was looking forward to using my experience here to do well."
The long first race proved to be a test of endurance for all the drivers. Because of the short length of the circuit, the race length was set at 57 laps. The long race coupled with an unusual heat wave, meant the race tested all the drivers' fitness. Kimball's extensive training regime meant that the heat and race length weren't a problem, but the circuit layout made passing an insurmountable challenge. He spent the whole 57 laps pushing the cars in front of him trying to force them into a mistake, but without success.
"That was a long frustrating race!" said Kimball. "I was pushing really hard to make up positions, but it is impossible to pass here without the driver in front making a very big mistake."
The second race of the weekend proved just as frustrating for the young American. He made a great start and passed previous race winner Kazuki Nakajima into the first corner. After that the rhythm of the race settled down and it was back to the stalemate of the previous day. However, the officials deemed that three competitors ahead of Kimball had jumped the start, earning them all three drive-through penalties. This promoted Kimball to 11th where he finished.
Kimball spoke about the weekend after the second race, "The car wasn't fast enough at the start of the weekend to be more competitive, but we are constantly evolving the package and making rapid progress. I will continue to work hard with the team to make the car even better before the next race at Norisring."
Kimball will continue to work with his engineer and team in preparation for the next race of the Formula 3 Euroseries at the Norisring in the beautiful city of Nuremberg, Germany the weekend of July 21-23, 2006.