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INDYCAR Grand Prix Day-End Report – Friday, May 11, 2018

The Verizon IndyCar Series held qualifying and two practice sessions today at the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Qualifying Results P1          No. 12 Power, Chevrolet – 1:09.818 P2          No. 6 Wickens, Honda – 1:09.905 P3          No. 18 Bourdais, Honda – 1:09.944 P16        No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet (Chilton) – 1:10.211 P23       …

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Carlin completes first day of INDYCAR testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway

Carlin completes first day of INDYCAR testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway

Carlin participated in their first day of INDYCAR testing today at Homestead-Miami Speedway with drivers Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball behind the wheel. Today’s test started a four-day testing schedule for the team with two days at Homestead-Miami Speedway followed by two days at Sebring International Raceway.

“It’s a very exciting day for us as a team. It’s our first ever run with an Indy car at a shakedown test. It’s gone extremely well – we’ve had no technical issues whatsoever,” said Racing Director Trevor Carlin. “The car ran flawlessly which is a testament to Colin and his guys. We’re very happy and now tomorrow we can start pushing on with our test program.”

Max Chilton, driver of the No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet, started the day off in the car and felt positive about the team’s first run with the new car, “That’s the completion of day one of testing for Carlin’s Verizon IndyCar Series 2018 program. It’s been a boring winter, but it’s really exciting to be back on track. I was on track for a few hours today and we had no issues with the car, which is amazing considering Carlin has never run an Indy car. It was a great day, so now it’s just catching up on the many miles that other teams have done more than us.”

“We just finished up a really great shakedown day at Homestead on our first day with Carlin in INDYCAR. It was a new car and everything just went really well. Team Chevy brought a perfect engine to run and we were able to go out and do a bunch of laps to get a feel for the car,” said Charlie Kimball, driver of the No. 23 Tresiba® Chevrolet. “The hard work will really start tomorrow, but we have a good car and a great baseline to go off of.”

Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball debrief with the Carlin crew after their initial INDYCAR shakedown (photo courtesy of Carlin)

Carlin joins Verizon IndyCar Series for 2018 Season Confirming Drivers Chilton and Kimball

Carlin joins Verizon IndyCar Series for 2018 Season Confirming Drivers Chilton and Kimball
Partners Gallagher and Novo Nordisk will return to INDYCAR with Carlin

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (December 12, 2017) – Carlin is proud to announce their move into the Verizon IndyCar Series in a full-time capacity for the 2018 season. Joining the first season INDYCAR effort at Carlin will be drivers Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball along with primary partners, international insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting services firm, Gallagher and global healthcare company, Novo Nordisk. Both Chilton and Kimball drove for the championship winning team earlier in their racing careers. The Carlin entries will be powered by the Chevrolet twin turbocharged direct injected V6 engine.

“We’re delighted to finally be able to announce our entry into the Verizon IndyCar Series, the result of a long-term ambition of the team,” Team Principal Trevor Carlin said about the announcement. “To be joined on that journey in our debut season by brands such as Gallagher and Novo Nordisk and with drivers we already have a race winning history with in Max and Charlie, is beyond what we could have expected. By no means do we underestimate the challenge and competition that lies ahead, but I have great faith in the young and passionate team that our Team Manager Colin [Hale] and I have put together.”

Chilton will return for his third season in the Verizon IndyCar Series with partner Gallagher. Chilton and Gallagher made their INDYCAR debut together in 2016 and have since recorded 33 starts, eight top-10 finishes, 66 laps led, and an impressive fourth-place finish at the 2017 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500.

“We are proud to partner with Carlin in the Verizon IndyCar Series for 2018 and look forward to the thrilling prospect of driver Max Chilton winning with our Gallagher brand prominently featured on his Chevrolet. Millions of fans around the world enjoy this sport, as do our clients and employees. It is our intent to leverage this sponsorship to showcase Gallagher’s extensive brokerage services and risk management expertise and to celebrate the values of innovation and collaboration our brokers and sales consultants deploy in creating solutions for their clients around the globe,” said Christopher E. Mead, Chief Marketing Officer for Gallagher.

Kimball, who will be returning for his eighth season in the Verizon IndyCar Series, will team with Chilton in Carlin’s two-car effort. Joining him for their 10th year of partnership will be longtime sponsor Novo Nordisk. Novo Nordisk joined Kimball’s career in Indy Lights in 2009 and has been with the American driver throughout his INDYCAR career. The duo has recorded 117 starts, one win, one pole, 13 top-five finishes, and 162 laps led in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

“As we begin the 10th year of our partnership with Charlie Kimball, we are excited to continue the legacy of the Race with Insulin program to inspire people with diabetes to pursue their dreams and support them in their disease management journey,” said David Moore, senior vice president, Commercial, Novo Nordisk. “We are encouraged by our new relationship with Carlin, who has a proven reputation for winning in a variety of motorsports series. We are looking forward to being part of a strong season in 2018 for Charlie, Race with Insulin and for the entire Carlin family.”
Chilton’s partnership with Carlin renews a successful relationship that goes back throughout the British racer’s career. Chilton won races with Carlin in Formula 3 and Formula 2 (formerly GP2 Series) before racing in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship from 2013 – 2014. In 2015 Chilton explored racing in the U.S for the first time with a season of Indy Lights with Carlin, along with a run with a manufacturer LMP1 program at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“Today’s announcement brings so much joy to everyone involved in making this a reality. Carlin being the first British team to enter the Verizon IndyCar Series in the modern era is a result of a lot of hard work and ambition following the team’s move into American racing a few years ago,” Chilton said speaking about the Carlin announcement. “I am super excited for 2018 as Carlin is like family to me. Having raced with them on and off since 2009 and having had my most competitive years with the team, I know we can work toward great things in INDYCAR. The Verizon IndyCar Series is exceptionally competitive, but the introduction of the new aero package will help level the playing field slightly. I know that finding the maximum in a spec series like this is where Carlin really excels. I want to say a massive thank you to Gallagher for continuing their support of me in INDYCAR. To have the opportunity to represent the more than 26,000 employees of Gallagher and a brand that focuses so heavily on teamwork and innovation has even greater relevance this year. I’m very thankful to be part of this package for 2018.”

Kimball returns to Carlin after a 10-year period, following race winning success with the team in British F3 and later in the Carlin-run Victory Engineering Team in the World Series by Renault. It was in the latter series that Kimball’s season with the British team was cut short when the California native was suddenly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2007.

“I’m so excited to join Carlin for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season. They were a big part of launching my career when I raced in Europe and we had a lot of success together back in 2005 in the British Formula Three Championship,” said Kimball on returning to Carlin. “It seems like everything fell into place at the right time to have this opportunity to work with Trevor and the whole Carlin team again. I’ve already got two years of experience working with Max as a teammate and I think our strengths and weaknesses will really complement each other as we begin this new adventure. The Verizon IndyCar Series is not just gaining a new race team, which is of course exciting, but really gaining a capable and competitive group of people that make up this team. Bringing Novo Nordisk into the fold, for our 10th consecutive year together, means a lot to me personally. They’re more than a sponsor—Novo Nordisk is a true partner, and I can’t thank them enough for their support.”

Carlin sign Alberico for 2016 Indy Lights Series

Carlin sign Alberico for 2016 Indy Lights Series Neil Alberico will race with Carlin in the 2016 Indy Lights Series presented by Cooper Tires.  The 23 year-old American will continue his career on the Mazda Road to Indy, after finishing the 2015 season as Pro Mazda vice-champion.  Alberico joins already announced Carlin drivers Ed Jones…

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Felix Serralles joins Carlin for his second Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tire season

Serralles joins Carlin for Indy Lights

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Felix Serralles will race with Carlin’s Indy Lights team for the 2016 season, joining already announced driver Ed Jones for the British squad’s second year in the USA.  Serralles is already a race winner in the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires Series, taking a total of two podiums including a race win in his rookie season.
Carlin’s first season in the series was an exciting one, with the team taking victory in the first three races of 2015, challenging for the championship title with Ed Jones right up to the season finale.
Puerto Rican born Serralles competed in his first season of Indy Lights in 2015, but had previously long been on the British team’s radar, having competed alongside Carlin drivers in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship and the British F3 Championship.
Felix Serralles will be joining Carlin for his second season in the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tire championship.  The 23 year-old from Puerto Rico scored one Indy Lights victory in 2015. (Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

Felix Serralles will be joining Carlin for his second season in the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tire championship. The 23 year-old from Puerto Rico scored one Indy Lights victory in 2015. (Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

Speaking about the year ahead, Serralles commented, “I have wanted to be a part of this great team for a number of years while I was racing in Europe. I am really pleased this opportunity has now presented itself for me and I look forward to bringing home trophies with Carlin this year.”
Trevor Carlin added, “We’ve raced against Felix for many years now, both in Europe and last season in Indy Lights.  He’s a driver we’ve long admired and I know from watching his career the potential he has.  It’s fantastic that instead of racing against him we now have the opportunity to work with Felix and see what we can achieve together.  With Felix and Ed we have a very strong team.  Race wins should be the aim from the outset.”
Official testing in the Indy Lights series will get underway at the end of January.

Jones continues with Carlin’s Indy Lights team

Carlin are pleased to announce that Ed Jones will remain with the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires team for the upcoming 2016 season. Following an outstanding debut in the 2015 series the British racer won the three opening races of the season and was in contention for the title until the very last round. Jones will be looking to go one step further with the knowledge he has gained during his first season racing in America.

Moving with Carlin across the pond to compete in the Indy Lights championship following a strong campaign with the team in Europe, Jones enjoyed a stunning debut with the team to win the opening three races of the season in dominant style; Jones then went on to claim a further four podiums.

Jones, an Indy Lights rookie, was a regular front runner throughout the course of the season and placed himself perfectly throughout to ensure that he was in contention for the Drivers’ title at the end of the season. Jones finished the year as the third highest placed driver and will be looking forward to a 2016 season as a clear championship contender with more experience of the American circuits.

Jones said of the upcoming season, “Continuity isn’t something which you get to enjoy too often in junior motor racing but when you can achieve it, for sure it is a help. Both the team and I know each other very well. I have built a good understanding with the engineers and I feel we work well together. We all have a season under our belt now and we have all raised the bar and will be pushing very hard for more success in 2016.

The goal for 2016 is to win the Indy Lights championship. I learnt a huge amount in 2015 and feel that I have a great base to go for the championship in 2016. I have a great relationship with my team Carlin and I believe in them completely. Carlin as a team have achieved a great deal but they haven’t won a championship in US motor racing and I want to be the driver who delivers that.”

Racing director Trevor Carlin added, “We’re delighted that Ed remains with the team for the 2016 season. He showed great faith in moving over from Europe with us for our first season in Indy Lights and demonstrated to everyone how competitive he was in winning the first three races of the season. In his rookie season in the US and having never visited most of the tracks before, Ed did a spectacular job to still be in contention for the title at the season finale. With a season of Indy Lights behind us there are undoubtedly things that team and driver have learnt together and we aim to put these lessons to good use in 2016 with the title clearly being the aim.”

Chilton second as Jones stays in the hunt

Max Chilton took another competitive second place finish in Mid-Ohio on Sunday, in the second Indy Lights race of the weekend. It was a tough weekend for Ed Jones however, the 20 year-old took another ninth place in race two, but remains well in the hunt for the championship after similarly tough weekends for his championship rivals.

The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course delivered yet another eventful race yesterday, as the penultimate round of the season drew to a close. The scene was set for an exciting fight between championship Jack Harvey and Jones, starting first and second respectively. Chilton meanwhile started from fifth.

At the green flag it was Jones who had the upper hand, the Carlin man stealing through into the lead ahead of Harvey while Chilton maintained fifth. At the front it remained close lap after lap between Jones and Harvey, some close racing resulted in light contact that both drivers survived early on, until heavier contact just over half way through the race that saw Jones serving a drive through penalty and Harvey in the pits for a new front wing.

Chilton meanwhile was keeping clear of any incidents and quietly making his way through the field to his second podium of the weekend. Running in second place, Chilton at times looked as though he could challenge race leader Sean Rayhall, with a determined effort in the final laps to close the gap.

Despite now being down the order, Harvey and Jones were still battling, although now for ninth place, which Jones took at the chequered flag, ahead of Harvey. Chilton crossed the line to take his second runner up spot of the weekend, making it three podiums from the last three races for the British driver.

With just one event remaining featuring a double header at Mazda Raceway in California, Jones lies second in the championship, just 12 points behind second placed man Spencer Pigot and 18 points behind Harvey.

Speaking about second place in Mid-Ohio, Chilton said, “We’re doing well at the moment both on ovals and off. Although we struggled at the start of the weekend the team gave me a car to do the job in the races. Race two was very similar to race one, I tried to play it smart, made a couple of overtaking moves and had some good luck as well. It’s nice to leave a weekend that we thought at first was going to be difficult with two second places.”

Team mate Jones, added, “My focus now is on the championship. No one expected us to be in contention to win in our first season, so I have nothing to lose. It wasn’t the ideal weekend by any means but we head into the last race of the season still in the running.”

The Indy Lights drivers will face a long wait until the season finale at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca from 10 – 13 September.

Chilton second in Mid-Ohio

Max Chilton made his way through the field this afternoon in the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires race in Mid-Ohio. The British racer started from sixth but took second in an eventful race for the championship leaders. Team mate Ed Jones crossed the line ninth, but recorded the second fastest time to claim a front row grid slot for race two tomorrow.

After Jones showed impressive pace in practice yesterday, it was a slightly disappointing qualifying session for the Carlin team this morning. Chilton managed to qualify in sixth while Jones was 10th, with neither driver completely happy with car set-up.

As the racing action got underway this afternoon though at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, it was Jones’ championship rivals that suffered misfortune, both Jack Harvey and Spencer Pigot making contact and falling out of potential podium finishes and down the order. With his rivals in the pits for repairs, Jones had plenty to do running in ninth.

Chilton meanwhile, fresh from his Iowa win was making up places, the Brit had moved up one place at the start and was up to fourth after Harvey and Pigot pitted. Chilton closed on third placed man Shelby Blackstock and passed the American at the restart after a full course yellow for the stranded car of Ethan Ringel. Now running in third, Chilton was about to make up another place as Felix Serralles pulled off track with an apparent mechanical problem, and duly took second behind leader RC Enerson.

Jones meanwhile had a championship on his mind and running in eighth place was racing a race of strategy. With neither of his championship rivals scoring big points, Jones had little to lose, so pitted for new Cooper Tires in an attempt to better his grid slot for tomorrow’s race two.

With starting positions for Sunday’s race set by today’s fastest laps, Jones wasted no time in making good use of his new tyres and was on a mission to put himself at the front of the field. Still running in front of Harvey who was several laps down Jones set the second fastest lap of the race, although pole for race two went to the recovering Harvey.

At the front Chilton crossed the line to take second with no pressure from behind. Speaking about his race, the Carlin man said, “It was a fun race. I really enjoy this track, it’s quite like a British circuit in many ways; you can’t afford to go off and there’s lots of undulations, it’s a bit like Oulton Park. We’ve struggled a bit with the set-up this weekend but the track seems to have changed a little this afternoon and the car came to me. It was one of those races where everything goes to plan, the car felt good and I made a couple of good overtaking manoeuvres. It was an enjoyable race.”

Race two will conclude the Indy Lights action this weekend at 10:30 local time tomorrow.

Chilton and Jones finish first and second in Iowa

Max Chilton took his first Indy Lights victory this afternoon and led home a Carlin 1-2 at the Iowa Speedway as Ed Jones took a strong second place to bolster his championship campaign. Chilton led for the majority of the race, only relinquishing the lead briefly to team mate Jones while in traffic.

Both Chilton and Jones made the perfect rolling start as the race got underway while behind there were several changes for position. While it was close at the front, with just a second covering Chilton, Jones and third placed man RC Enerson, the Carlin men never really looked under any intense pressure.

As the lap numbers clocked up, Chilton held a steady advantage at the front, just over one second ahead of Jones who in turn was just over two and a half seconds ahead of Enerson. One significant change of position came at the half way point when Jones took the lead from Chilton on lap 50, after the leader found himself caught up behind Felix Serralles who was a lap behind. With Jones now leading, Serralles was still proving hard to pass and the pace only increased again once Serralles visited the pits.

After Serralles took to the pits, the top five were almost nose to tail, while Chilton had stayed close to his team mate. Pushing hard, Chilton took the lead back on lap 64 and he and Jones were able to pull away almost immediately from Enerson.

The racing was neutralised with a full course yellow but when the track went green again on lap 73, Chilton once again made the perfect start with Jones close behind in second. The team mates continued in that formation to the chequered flag, with Chilton taking victory by 6.1 seconds and Jones a comfortable 4.9 seconds ahead of Enerson who completed the podium.

Max Chilton and Ed Jones celebrate a 1-2 with the team (Photo @ Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

Max Chilton and Ed Jones celebrate a 1-2 with the team (Photo @ Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

A delighted Chilton said, “It was simply perfect. The team gave me the car to do it. I had a tricky 10 laps or so in the middle of the race when I got frustrated by traffic, but I know Ed experienced the same. I managed to take the lead again and the car was just great. I’d like to thank the team for all their work and once again this is dedicated to Jules as I know he would have driven the perfect race.”

Second placed man Jones commented, “I’m really pleased to take second, I think it shows how much me and the team have improved in our performance on the ovals. I thought maybe I had a chance at the win there for a few laps but Max was able to pass me. I was starting to pick up a slight vibration in the final few laps so I backed off a tiny bit, but I’m glad to have taken solid points for second place today.”

Trevor Carlin added, “I’m delighted for the drivers and the team, they have worked tirelessly to try and get a set up that works for the ovals and I think today proves that we’re getting there. I’m very pleased to see Max win, a victory he now adds to those in F3 and GP2 with the team. Obviously it’s also a good step forward for Ed in the championship as well. This definitely ranks up there in the team’s best victories.”

Chilton and Jones take from row lock out in Iowa

Max Chilton and Ed Jones were able to show the fast progress both they and their Carlin team are making in the Indy Lights Series presented by Cooper Tires today, qualifying first and second respectively at the Iowa Speedway. The Carlin pair surprised many in the paddock by taking a front row lock out on an oval circuit which has proved to be one of the biggest challenges for the European team in its debut season in America.

With each driver taking turns to set their best qualifying effort, Chilton and Jones were amongst the last drivers to take to the Iowa Speedway this afternoon. With championship leader Jack Harvey holding provisional pole, Jones was the first Carlin man on track, and despite having limited expience on ovals circuit took the P1 spot with just three drivers remaining.

Running slightly less downforce and feeling confident after two promising practice sessions around Iowa this weekend, Chilton was on form as he went out for his qualifying run. The British racer claimed the top spot and set a new track record in the process. As the chequered flag fell, Chilton remained P1 with his team mate just behind in P2.

Clearly emotional after the tragic passing of his former Marussia team mate Jules Bianchi overnight, Chilton told Indy Light’s pit lane commentator Rob Howden, “It hasn’t been a nice nine months and a very difficult day today. This one is dedicated to him.”

Speaking about the performance of his Carlin Dallara IL-15, Chilton added, “The team have done a great job to put together this car and having my team mate start alongside me is fantastic. Driving on ovals is so different to anything in Europe and with such limited experience I did feel a bit uncomfortable before. But I came here having missed the test and to be honest felt much more comfortable straight away. I think we have a good chance here.”

Speaking just before his team mate went out for his qualifying run, Jones said, “The car felt great, we made a lot of improvements and I made improvements on my side as well. The changes we made worked although maybe we could have got away with a little less wing, which I think Max will probably be running and will probably go quicker. But to come here and do this is a big team effort and we now have some more confidence on ovals.”

A delighted Trevor Carlin also praised the team, saying, “It’s been pretty tough on the engineers and drivers, they have been working really hard and to be honest we haven’t really understood ovals so what the boys have done here is really amazing, regardless of what happens later today.”

The racing action will get underway at 5.20 local time today.

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