Charlie Kimball looks set for several years of IndyCar Series competition to come, after his primary sponsor Novo Nordisk signed a multi-year extension with Chip Ganassi Racing to back Kimball in the #83 race car for 2012 and beyond.
Kimball is the first licensed driver in IndyCar with type 1 diabetes to compete, and as a result he has attracted huge amounts of press coverage for his condition and how it can be successfully managed for even the most demanding sports such as motor racing. It's proved invaluable media coverage for Novo Nordisk, a world leader in diabetes care - Kimball himself utilises Novo Nordisk products to help manage his diabetes during his training and through race weekends.
"We are extremely proud to continue our partnership with Charlie Kimball and Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing," said Novo Nordisk's Corporate Vice President of Diabetes Marketing Camille Lee, adding: "This team represents a unique opportunity for us, as a pharmaceutical company, to raise disease awareness on a broader scale and show everyone that diabetes doesn't need to slow you down."
Novo Nordisk have been running diabetes awareness events at IndyCar races through the "Drive the Switch" program and the "Race with Insulin" campaign. The company originally sponsored Kimball through two years of Firestone Indy Lights competition, before moving up to IndyCar with the driver at the start of the 2011 season.
"My partnership with Novo Nordisk is very unique because they make the insulins I take every day," said Kimball, of a sponsorship arrangement between company and driver that is consequently closer and more heartfelt than the norm. "I am fortunate to have Novo Nordisk and Chip Ganassi Racing support me in my career and I am proud and honored to be associated with these two outstanding organizations."
The announcement is a big boost to team owner Chip Ganassi, who is seeking to maintain his four-car line-up in IndyCar in 2012.
"Charlie has done everything that we have asked of him on the track and we certainly feel his future is bright. As for Novo, they have been a tremendous partner both on and off the track," he said. "It speaks volumes that a company like Novo Nordisk is making this type of long-term commitment to our team, to Charlie, and the IndyCar Series."
The 26-year-old Californian driver has been paired with Graham Rahal in the 'junior' squad of Ganassi's IndyCar operation, while Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon have remained the team's senior line-up.