Top-5 for Kimball in Canada Charlie Kimball maintained momentum in the Firestone Indy Lights championship with a 5th place finish at the Grand Prix of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada this past weekend July 24th and 25th. Kimball qualified the ...
Top-5 for Kimball in Canada
Charlie Kimball maintained momentum in the Firestone Indy Lights championship with a 5th place finish at the Grand Prix of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada this past weekend July 24th and 25th. Kimball qualified the #35 Team Palm Beach International Raceway (Team PBIR) car in 6th place and raced forward to a top-5 result. The points for 5th in the race move him up to 9th in the Indy Lights championship, right on the heels of 8th place.
Charlie Kimball made his intentions of a good weekend clear in the first hour long practice session. He consistently ran laps quick enough to be in the top 5 at the very fast and very bumpy Edmonton airport circuit. The track was gaining grip all the time and Kimball was constantly gaining circuit knowledge, ending the practice session in 7th place. Kimball's good practice would set him up well for qualifying. Kimball and his engineer had made further improvements to the car allowing the young Californian to set a time that put him 6th on the grid. He was only a tenth of a second behind 5th place Sebastian Saavedra, the only other driver ahead of Kimball who hadn't previously raced at Edmonton.
"Outside of row 3 is a solid qualifying result, especially since four of the guys in front of me have raced here before," said Kimball afterwards. "Tomorrow's race is going to be very hot and physical, especially as this track is so rough. I am sure I can take advantage of that in the closing stages of the race and move forward."
In a pre-race warm-up practice, Kimball continued to improve the Levemir® car and made forward progress on the set-up. He ran used tires with full fuel tanks in a race start simulation. The practice paid off well as Kimball made a good start in the 50 lap, 100 mile Indy Lights Grand Prix of Edmonton. He maintained his position into the very wide turn 1 and nearly moved past Saavedra for fifth. He slotted back into 6th and stuck with the leaders as the top 6 pulled well clear of the chasing pack. As the high air temperature and track surface took their toll on the front tires, Kimball dropped slightly back from the 3 cars in front of him. Then James Davison who was running 3rd, made a mistake into Turn 10, allowing Saavedra and James Hinchcliffe through. Davison, who had flat spotted his tire badly, soon fell back to Kimball. It took 3 laps for Kimball to time the pass into Turn 1 as Davison was doing a good job of defending his position. On lap 38, Kimball made the move stick into Turn 1 and by the end of the lap had pulled 3 seconds clear of Davison. At the end of the 50 laps, Kimball crossed the line in 5th place, scoring 30 points and moving him to 9th in the championship standings, only 7 points behind 8th place.
"That was a long, hot, hard race!" enthused Kimball. "The front tires got a beating, but the Firestone Firehawks held up well. This was a great weekend- both of the team cars were always in the top 7 in practice and qualifying and then both PBIR cars in the top 5 in the race is a great result. The momentum from this weekend will serve us well for the rest of the season."
Kimball will now head to the 1.5 mile Kentucky Speedway, July 31st and August 1st for round 11 of the 15 round Firestone Indy Lights championship.