Verizon IndyCar Series newcomers, Carlin, have conducted their first on-track running since joining the sport in a pre-season test at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The British team took to Homestead’s road-course for the all-day private test, completing a combined total of ninety laps between their two drivers, Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball.
Carlin, a leading name in junior formula categories in Europe, made the announcement in December that they would be making the leap into the Verizon IndyCar Series with a two-car effort for 2018 with Chilton and Kimball at the helm. It was a huge decision for the team, who had made their first foray across the Atlantic when they joined the Indy Lights series for 2015, but thankfully the first hurdle – yesterday’s first test – went nigh-on unhindered.
“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 Trevor Carlin, racing director for the team, “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.”
Carlin ran with just one car during the test at Homestead, with their second car due for arrival at their race shop in time for further pre-season testing at Sebring International Raceway and the ISM Speedway next month. Chilton started off driving the Carlin Chevrolet before handing over to team-mate Kimball later on.
“That’s the completion of day one of testing for Carlin’s Verizon IndyCar Series 2018 program.” said Chilton, who will drive the #59 Gallagher Chevrolet this season, “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.”
Following yesterday’s running, Carlin will have another day of running today on the 1.5-mile oval. After a strong first day, Kimball is looking forward to getting back on track:
“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 #23 Tresiba Chevrolet. “The hard work will really start tomorrow, but we have a good car and a great baseline to go off of.”
Every lap of testing will be vital for Carlin as they prepare for perhaps their biggest challenge yet; their first season in IndyCar. The 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series begins on March 11 with the Grand Prix of St Petersburg, with just a handful of pre-season testing opportunities left before then.