Kyle Gimple geared up for IMSA season-opener at Daytona
Gimple is eager to return to the squad that has delivered reliable cars capable of victory.
Daytona Beach, Fla. – Kyle Gimple closed out the 2014 race season in a big way when he won the final two IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge races of the year and also scored the pole position in the season-finale event at Road Atlanta. Now, as the 2015 IMSA Championship kicks off at Daytona International Speedway this weekend, Gimple is ready to return to his winning ways with Compass360 Racing.
Having competed for Compass360 Racing over the past two years, Gimple is eager to return to the squad that has delivered reliable cars capable of victory. It will be a familiar setting for the race talent, who calls Nevada home, as he will once again campaign the No. 75 Honda Performance Development/Children’s Tumor Foundation Honda Civic Si at Daytona.
The Civic is one that the Compass360 boys know well, and has long proven to be a consistent performer on the high banks at Daytona. Building a foundation for a championship run will be a key goal for the tried and true Honda before the team makes the anticipated transition in Sebring to Compass360 Racing’s Audi S3 for the remainder of the 2015 IMSA calendar.
The Hondas have always been strong at Daytona so we are hoping for a good finish.
Also new for 2015 will be Gimple's role in the racecar. Where Compass360 leaned on him to find the speed in qualifying, the 2015 season will see Gimple charged with bringing the car home and racing to the finish each round. The move is another progression in the young charger's career after the team was impressed with his stand-out podium performance closing the race in GS competition at Lime Rock Park last season.
He is teamed with Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge rookie Paul Holton, who has raced with the team before as he also is poised to benefit from Gimple’s at-track coaching as well.
“To be honest, it’s going to be a bit different heading to Daytona without Ryan (Eversley, former co-driver now with the factory Acura team) in the car with me,” said Gimple of the transition. “He was a great influence for me over the past two years and I’m grateful that I had him to help me develop further as a driver. But I'm excited to be the closing driver all year. Paul (Holton) is a very good racecar driver and I think we’ve got a lot of potential this year. We had him testing in one of our Civics over the off-season to get familiar with it for Daytona and he picked up speed fairly quickly. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do this year.”
As the anchor driver, the team will rely on Gimple’s race craft to do battle as the race action heats up in the final stages of each race as the checkered flag nears.
“There will be quite a few Caymans in the field, and we know how fast those are, so we will just have to deal with them,” offered Gimple. “Daytona is a very drafting-heavy race, so it will be fun to see how everything unfolds. We're just going to go into Daytona looking to win but I won't risk the car if I don't have to. It's the first race of the season. You can't win the championship there but you can sure lose it there. The Hondas have always been strong at Daytona so we are hoping for a good finish.”
Gimple will get an early start to the weekend with two practice sessions on Wednesday followed by more practice and qualifying on Thursday. A final practice will be held Friday morning ahead of the 2.5-hour race which is set to begin at 1:45 PM ET.
Kyle Gimple Racing
Rabe in for CTSCC race at Daytona and partial season campaign
Burton Racing ready to represent BMW at Daytona