Hard-Fought Fourth for Kimball at Norisring American Charlie Kimball continued his season in the Formula 3 Euroseries this past weekend July 21-23, 2006 on the temporary street course of Norisring in Nuremberg, Germany. After a tough...
Hard-Fought Fourth for Kimball at Norisring
American Charlie Kimball continued his season in the Formula 3 Euroseries this past weekend July 21-23, 2006 on the temporary street course of Norisring in Nuremberg, Germany. After a tough qualifying that was cut short when another driver hit him, Kimball started Race 1 from 18th on the grid. The first race saw him improve to 13th, despite a serious brake problem and Race 2 demonstrated Kimball's racing prowess as he moved through the field from 13th to finish 4th , his best result in the Euroseries so far.
After learning the street circuit in practice, Kimball's lap times steadily improved throughout the qualifying session as his circuit knowledge increased and the track gained grip continuously. However, with 5 minutes remaining in the session, Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi ran into Kimball as Kimball turned into the last corner to begin another flying lap. The contact resulted in a bent steering link, ending the session for the American and leaving him 18th on the grid for Race 1.
The Californian said about qualifying, "My second set of tires was just coming up to temperature and I had a lot more to give in the last five laps. I know there was a lot more grip than when I set my best time and am sure I have the pace for the first 6 rows."
In Race 1, Kimball overcame significant brake problems on a circuit where braking is critical. He had made a good start and was running 14th very early on, when into the second corner, the brake pedal went to the floor and he found he only had rear brakes. The rear tires locked, sending him into a spin and putting him back down the order to 20th. Kimball then rejoined and although the brakes never felt right, he continued to push as hard as possible. He then caught and passed several drivers as he worked his way up to 13th.
"The brake problem was very scary, especially here when you are going 240km/h!" said Kimball. "I thought about stopping to figure the problem out, but I knew I could get a good result even if the brakes weren't perfect."
Race 2 saw another hearty drive from Kimball as he fought his way through the field from his 13th place grid slot. He made a great start and took advantage of first-lap chaos to cross the line 8th at the end of the first lap. After that, he took advantage of over people's penalties and mistakes to move consistently up the order. When he crossed the finish line in front of the 100,000 spectators, he had moved up to a points-paying fourth place.
"The fourth place result is a great morale booster for both the team and me," Kimball remarked. "The guys have worked so hard for so long and to give them a solid result is a small reward for their efforts and bodes well for the coming races."
Kimball will now prepare for the Ultimate Masters of Formula 3, an International Invitational race held at the Zandvoort circuit in the Netherlands, weekend after next, August 5-6.