Thursday, December 10, 2009

2010 Announcement!



INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 10, 2009) – AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport announced today it has signed driver Charlie Kimball to the team’s 2010 Firestone Indy Lights lineup.

Kimball, a 24-year old native of Camarillo, Calif., ended his 2009 rookie campaign with a ranking of 10th in the Firestone Indy Lights standings. Kimball posted two top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 15 starts.

Kimball is the second driver signed by the team for 2010. Englishman Martin Plowman was announced as an AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport driver on Oct. 10.

An announcement regarding the sponsorship program for Kimball’s entry will be made in early 2010.

Kimball launched his single-seater career in 2002 and has raced in several international series since then, highlighted by a five-win effort in the 2005 British Formula 3 Championship. At that time, Kimball established himself as the first American to win a British Formula 3 race in 13 years. Two years later, Kimball was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and is the only driver in the history of the Indy Racing League to compete with the disorder.

Kimball made one previous start for Andretti Autosport at Zandvoort in 2008 as part of the team’s A1GP effort under the Team USA banner.



“We’re excited to bring Charlie on board with AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport for 2010. He is a great guy and a driver that has a lot of potential. He was a pleasure to work with at Zandvoort back in 2008 and we’re looking forward to watching him develop next season.”


“We’re looking forward to working with Charlie next year. AFS/Andretti Autosport has been privileged to win the last two Firestone Indy Lights championships. We’ve seen the competition rise each year since the inaugural race in 2002, and Michael and I would very much like to set our place in the history of this series with a third-consecutive title.”


“I’m very excited to be joining AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport for 2010. This is a great step for me to take and I want to thank Gary and Michael for giving me the opportunity to drive for them. I learned a lot about the Firestone Indy Lights as a rookie this year and am looking forward to leveraging that experience into a run for the championship in 2010.”

- END -

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 Interview

Here's an interview copied from Enjoy!

Interview with Charlie Kimball
dinsdag, 08 december 2009 11:13

There are a lot of fast guys, all over the world. Most of the drivers that are well known are coming from Europe, but there are also some very fast guys coming from the United States of America. Charlie Kimball is a fast American guy, living his American dream. Unfortunately, not every thing is gold in his life. Diagnosed with diabetes Charlie Kimball had to struggle to make his comeback, but during the last seasons he is fit as hell. spoke to Charlie Kimball in an exclusive interview.

Charlie KimballCharlie, you are a talented American driver and most of our visitors will know who you are. But could you please give a short introduction about yourself to the visitors that do not know you?
Well, I started in go-karts in 1993 as a way to spend time with my dad on the weekends. I then got into a Formula Ford at the age of 16 and have worked my way up through the junior formula ladder system. I spent time in Europe after graduating high school in 2003 before moving back to the US this year.

How did you get involved in racing? Have you always wanted to become a racedriver yourself? Did your parents always support you?
I got involved in racing, because I grew up watching it. My dad is a mechanical engineer and worked in both Indycars and Formula 1. When I was exposed to racing first hand, I really fell in love with it.

You have started your career, like many other drivers, in karting. Did you enjoy your period in karting and do you think karting will be an essential step in the career of a race driver?
I did really enjoy my time in karting and feel that it taught me a huge amount about racing. I still use the lessons I learned in karts to this day. While it may not be a requirement for successful racing drivers to spend time in karts, I do believe it helps a tremendous amount.

You have raced in different formula cars throughout the years. You have started with Formula Ford and also driven in Formula 3. During 2009 you drove the Indy Lights. What are the main differences between those cars? Which car, do you think, is the most exciting to drive?
The biggest difference between all the cars is the power and the weight. There are some cars that brake better than others, the World Series by Renault cars were amazing with their carbon brakes, and others were great handling cars, the Formula 3 car with a good set up was unbelievable through a fast corner. The Formula 3 car is a very good all around car and rewards a lot of different driving talents. The Indy Lights car is very exciting on an oval. Overall, I have enjoyed each car I’ve raced for their various strengths.

Kimball celebrating his victory in Formula 3Every race driver has good and bad moments during his career. Being diagnosed with diabetes is probably one of the bad moments in your career. Or, what are really the best and worst moments in your career?
Getting diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes was probably the most shocking moment in my career for sure! The nice thing about the diagnosis was that it answered a lot of questions about my performance in 2007. It also helped me get back to full health and get back in the race car. Some of the best moments in my career include winning the Formula 3 Euroseries race at Zandvoort in 2006, getting to race at Monaco in 2007 and racing at Indianapolis this year. While there have been tough moments, moments of doubt and indecision, the rewards from racing always outweighs them.

During your career you have made the step from the USA to Europe and in 2009 you came back to the USA to drive Indy Lights. What are your expectations based on your further career?
My future career expectations are to contend for the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights championship and from there move up, either into Indycar with an eye to winning the Indianapolis 500 or to Formula 1 or GP2. My experience in Europe would be extremely beneficial if there were opportunities to race in F1.

If you could change your life with another racedriver for just one day, who will be the one you are changing with?
I am extremely happy with my life as a racing driver. If I could, I would love to be Valentino Rossi for a day. I never foresee myself riding, let alone racing, motorcycles, but Rossi is an absolute maestro on the bike. It would be fun to be that good on something so different to my racing.

Kimball driving Indy LightsAlthough the racedriver is the one that really scores the results, there are always a lot of people on the background that also have a big influence on the results and career of a racedriver (sponsors, mechanics etc.). Is there a special person in your career that you would like to thank, and why is that person special to you?
I have been very lucky to have a strong family behind me throughout my career. My dad has always lent sage career advice, my mom has always supported me and my sister has been invaluable when it comes to marketing. My sponsors this year, Novo Nordisk, have been great about getting my story out there and being very supportive of me. The fact that they make the 2 types of insulin I use, is just an added bonus!

Many people think that the life of a racedriver is all fun and just a dream. But if you take a look to the ‘inside’ of racing, what is the hardest part of being a race driver?
There are a lot of difficult parts to being a racing driver, but I would say the biggest one is the struggle to find sponsorship. The cost of racing is so high and the return isn’t always easy to see. Convincing a company to become a partner in your dream is always difficult. But once you do that, you can go back to focus on racing and winning! As it is the off-season at the moment, I am focused 100% on my fitness and training which is never an enjoyable part of the job.

What would you like to say to everyone that is dreaming of a career in racing?
Racing is a very fulfilling sport filled with amazing people the world over. If it is your passion and there is no place you would rather be than at the racetrack, it is a great environment. It takes a lot of hard work to drive or be a part of team, but it is always worth the effort!

Thank you for letting me tell my story and re-use this on my blog!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Anti-NaBloPoMo

So in honor of November being National Blog Post Month, I celebrated the anti and didn't blog at all for November. And while I would like to say this was planned, it wasn't. I got busy and didn't really have anything interesting to say! I am a little less busy now, but still don't have a whole lot to say. There will be some fun and interesting things coming in the next few weeks hopefully, but until then a quick run down on what I have been doing.

I went testing at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama early in November. The track is really fun with a fair bit of elevation change, some fast corners, some blind corners and some hard braking. It is missing a good overtaking place, but that is all. I went quick and am looking forward to going back there in April for the race. Since we didn't race there this year, I am glad I got to see the track before the race weekend.

Since it's the end of the season, I have made a concerted effort to start training aggressively. I have been doing 'two-a-days' 6 days a week. While it is definitely hard work, it isn't killing me like it did a few years back. It is a good reminder to keep up the hard work during the season and then the off season isn't so miserable.

I also got a chance to go to the TCOYD event in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was a great event, lots of good media, great people and a wonderful environment to interact. I then got a chance to spend a couple days out at my aunt and uncle's place in Abiquiu. I loved it! It was really quite brisk and downright cold overnight, but the views were amazing. I got to meet my aunt's horse- talk about a beautiful animal!

Finally, I am getting ready for a ski trip with my friends. We are heading up to Salt Lake City on the 11th and staying for a week! Having never snowboarded in Utah, I am really excited. It will be a great vacation and a nice chance to 'unplug' for a week before the holidays. I haven't been boarding in a few years and am sure it will take me a while to get back in the swing of it. Should be a great time though!

Oh, and I am writing this post from my new laptop- a Mac. I have converted and for the most part, I am extremely happy with it. There have been a few headaches, most of which have been me over-thinking the problem. Things really are more user friendly on a Mac. But then any new computer would be a huge upgrade from my 4 year old Thinkpad!