7 July 2009
Kimball enjoying being part of PBIR progress.
Team PBIR is beginning to hit its stride, and it couldn't come at a better time for Firestone Indy Lights rookie Charlie Kimball, who has now posted three straight top-ten finishes, including a career-best fourth at Watkins Glen International on Saturday.
An electrical issue in the only pre-qualifying practice left the #35 team behind its rivals, but the 24-year old Californian rallied to qualify fifth. He then topped the morning warm-up and made steady progress in the race, passing Sebastian Saavedra for fourth place on the run up to turn nine on the final lap.
"We're still a new team and we're still learning," Kimball acknowledged, "but now the personnel are gelling and we're making progress every time we get on track. The communication, both verbal and non-verbal, is getting a lot easier for everybody. We make progress even when we feel like we're not making progress.
"Things aren't perfect yet, but we're making the most of every situation, which is exactly what a new team should do. We're picking up momentum as we're heading into the stretch of seven races in nine weeks. Most of them are tracks I've raced at, with the exception of Toronto, Edmonton and Chicago, but Long Beach showed we have a solid street course car and we showed we have a good road course package at the Glen. My engineer Dave [Conti] always gives me great oval cars, I've never doubted anything he does."
Coupled with the fifth-place effort from new team-mate Richard Philippe - who currently fills the seat previously occupied by former Indy Pro Series champion Jay Howard, Kimball says Team PBIR is operating with confidence at an all-time high.
"I've known the potential of this team since day one, so it's great giving them the result they've worked so hard for," the F3 graduate said, "It gives the management confidence that they have right guys and mechanics, who work their fingers to the bone each week see the results as payment for a job well done.
"You know, everyone at Team PBIR doesn't come to run at the back. They come to win, just like I do. To give them that result, their confidence at a all-time high and they are willing to do the little things it takes to win. They believe we're going to be at the sharp end and they are going to do everything they can to help us stay there."
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