Wednesday, March 23, 2011

First Race Schedule!

As we come roaring into the first race of the 2011 season, I wanted to take a moment and share the on track schedule for my first IZOD Indycar race.

Friday March 25th-
Practice 1: 10:15-11:15AM
Practice 2: 3:05-4:05PM

Saturday March 26th-
Practice 3:10:10-11:10AM
Autograph Session (Novo Nordisk booth- 30mins):11:50AM
Autograph Session (Indycar Fan Village- 60mins): 4:45PM

Sunday March 27th-
Warm Up- 8:40-9:10AM

Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, 100 Laps, Live on ABC:
Pre-race: Noon
Green Flag: 12:30PM Eastern Time

As a side note, my sister will be in Australia working this weekend. She emailed me to let me know that the race will start at 3:30AM Monday morning in Melbourne. So if you are reading my blog and will be watching there, stay up really late or get up really early to catch my race!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Second Test!

I am heading down to Sebring Florida for the second test of the season. After last week's test day in the car, I can't wait to drive it again. There will 10 or so Indycars this week so I will get another good comparison on lap time. I will try and get a report from the test up here later this week. But in the meantime, check out this article!

Getting into the car for the first time last week:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Press Release from yesterday's first IndyCar test

Kimball Completes First IZOD IndyCar Series Test at Barber

Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing and IZOD IndyCar Series Rookie driver Charlie Kimball completed their first test on Tuesday, March 1st at Barber Motorsports Park.

Kimball, who was announced December 16th in Indianapolis as the driver of the No. 83 Levemir® and NovoLog® FlexPen® Honda Dallara, tested the 2.38-mile permanent road course and turned his first laps in an Indy car.

“Charlie’s first test in an Indy car went great,” said Team Manger Mitch Davis. “He remained focused and professional throughout the practice. It was like he had been driving Indy cars for years and we were very impressed. Once we scrubbed off a few laps and Charlie got up to speed, we continued to get faster as the team made adjustments toward the end of practice. By the end of the day, we had met all of our expectations and felt accomplished.”

Kimball, turned 58 laps with a best time of 1:12.300.

“Completing my first test with Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing reminded me how grateful I am to be a part of this team,” said Kimball, who will compete for IZOD IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year honors in 2011. “The crew allowed me to focus on turning my first laps and getting up to speed, which is exactly what we did. Overall, I’m thrilled with the results from the test and I can’t wait to get back in the car.”

Up next for Kimball and the team is the IZOD IndyCar Series Open Test on March 14-15 at Barber Motorsports Park.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

An Overdue Thank You

It struck me on Friday night (at 30,000 feet, somewhere between Chicago and Salt Lake City) that I haven't really thanked or made an effort to thank everyone who has helped me get to Indycar. I hope that everyone involved understand the depths of my gratitude. I won't be able to name everyone here, but I would like to hit some highlights before I start driving this season. And since I will actually get to drive said Indycar on Tuesday, I should really (attempt to) do that now.

Firstly, at the top of my list, always, is my family. I would never have even gotten into a go kart, let a alone a racecar without them. It starts with my immediate family- my dad, my mom and my sister. They have always been and will always be my biggest fans, staunchest allies, fiercest defenders and best of friends. I remember our family trips fondly and while sometimes there was….tension, we always had fun in the end. A special thought for my sister: even though sometimes she and I fought like cats and dogs, the fact we had each other's backs was never a question. From England to Italy, Ventura to Camarillo, Woking to Witney, Pietrasanta, Indianapolis and everywhere in between, she has been there for me. The week I was diagnosed, my dad and I were in England, my sister was in Brazil (for work) and my mom was in So Cal. And my health wasn't the only crisis happening. But even from three very distant points on the globe, we rallied and, as my mom would say, 'circled the wagons' to get through it. Their strength gave me the courage to keep going.

I also want to thank all of my extended family for their years of support. From grammar to humor, business advice to relationship help, hiking the county to surfing Mondos, they have given me a lot. Thank you.

My friends are still a very important part of my life and as our lives get busy, we get to see less and less of each other. But it doesn't mean that when we do hang out, we don't act like we did in high school. Well, I hope not exactly like we did in high school (hoping for a bit more mature), but the important point is we still mesh. We may be scattered across the country- Fremont, Washington DC, Ventura County, Oregon, Indianapolis- but it sounds like the 500 this year may be a bit of a reunion. I can see it now: Monday night awards banquet after the 500; -Other big name Indycar driver "Hey Charlie, you look tired. You have a big party to celebrate finishing your first Indy 500?" Me, "Yeah, my friends and I got together since they are all in town for the race. We played RISK until the sun came up. And man did we destroy some take and bake pizza…." Yeah, we may not be the rowdiest bunch on the block, but we have fun.

There are many people in racing that I need to thank. And if I was to try and name them all, I am sure I would miss some. There have been lots and lots of great people from karting all the way to today. I want to thank my mental coach. And my physical trainer. So, thank you, thank you all.

On the partner side, I have had many 'champions' and I do want to thank them for everything they have done. Even something as small as a quick phone call makes a huge difference. And most importantly, I have to thank Novo Nordisk for their support and commitment to my racing career. With their help, I will be living a dream this year: competing in the IZOD Indycar series.

Finally, all of my fans and friends at the racetrack, thank you. A large part of getting to do what I love is because of you.

Tuesday I get to drive the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing car. I wish I could DVR the whole day so that I could replay it in perpetuity, but I will just try and soak up as much as possible. I will also try to remember everyone who was a part of me getting into that car. And honor their contribution by making the most of this great opportunity.

Monday, January 31, 2011

At least one in January

Since I haven't blogged since mid December, I thought I should blog in January. And, well, as tomorrow is already February (?!?!), this is my last chance!

Things are really busy. I am back based in Indy after some really nice down time for the holidays. The Christmas/ New Year's period is always crazy, but really good to see all my family and friends that congregate back at home. I also got some time in the mountains with my best friend. We got a couple of days of snowboarding and some chill time by the fireplace (so many meanings since the power was out for a day!). Then it was off to Miami for the Orange Bowl. I had gotten tickets as a Christmas present to go see Stanford take on Virginia Tech. What an experience! It was amazing seeing all the Cardinal faithful from across the country cheering for victory. And I know that I didn't go to Stanford, but with my family's legacy and my acceptance, I still claim it.

After the game, I spent a couple of days in Orlando enjoying the magic of Disney. I realize that most of Disney stuff is for kids, but I was totally blown away, again, by the quality of everything at Disney World. I had never been to the Animal Kingdom and after a day there, I wanted to go back again! It was spectacular. A really creative way to display the animals and yet give them the room to roam in a very natural habitat. Plus the rides are very cool. The Everest train ride was awesome and the Dinosaur ride really caught me by surprise. All in all, I really enjoyed myself and would go back in a heartbeat.

And then it was time to head from the warm Florida sun to the cold and snow of Indianapolis. It was nice to be back in Indy though. I have been working really hard in the gym to get ready for the season. I have also been spending a fair bit of time at the race shop with my team. I have been continually impressed with the caliber of people involved and I can't wait to drive the car for the first time! The car is now being painted, prepped and when it gets back to the shop it will be full speed ahead before the first test, hopefully soon.

And if that wasn't enough, I moved house this last weekend. With the help of James Hinchcliffe, Philip Major and Stefan Wilson, we got all the stuff moved on Saturday. Moved however, does not mean 'moved in'. There are still stacks of boxes around and lots of settling in left to do. I haven't gotten my office set up yet, so I am writing this on the dining table. But having Internet and a dining table is a success in my mind!

Finally, I want to congratulate all of my teammates at Chip Ganassi Racing, Chip, Mike, Timmy and all the crew on the Grand-Am Rolex Daytona Prototype cars. They finished the Rolex 24 hour race first and second separated by a mere 2 seconds after a full 24 hours of competition! With that win, Chip has won the Daytona 500, the Indy 500, the Brickyard 400, the IZOD IndyCar Championship and the Rolex 24 Hour, all in 12 months. It's a great start to a promising 2011!