Charlie Kimball will make his return to the cockpit of the #23 Carlin Chevrolet in the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series at Pocono Raceway and Gateway Motorsports Park. Kimball, who has not raced since May’s Indianapolis 500, will bring new sponsors ripKurrent to the #23 car.
The 2019 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway will mark ripKurrent’s debut as sponsors in the NTT IndyCar Series. The company are an energy services group based in Florida. In today’s announcement, the company’s President, Jade Culbertson, stated that the company have been passionate about motorsports, particularly IndyCar, for many years leading up to their entry into the sport as a sponsor.
This passion for IndyCar racing is something that Charlie Kimball touched on in his reaction to today’s news.
“After meeting the ripKurrent group last year and seeing their passion for the NTT IndyCar Series with its competitive racing and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it is really exciting to carry their name on the No. 23 ripKurrent Carlin Chevrolet at the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway,” Kimball said today. “Racing under the lights is what the NTT IndyCar Series is all about and we will be aiming for a great result for ripKurrent, Carlin and Team Chevy!”
At the start of the season, Charlie had been set to embark on a part-time schedule in the NTT IndyCar Series, scaling back his appearances from his previous full-time deal. Charlie raced in the season-opener at St. Petersburg and was set to take part in the remaining oval races, with Patricio O’Ward picking up a majority of the remaining races.
However, Kimball hasn’t raced in the #23 Carlin since the Indianapolis 500 in May. Additionally, Patricio O’Ward has also stepped away from the championship mid-season after being picked up by the Red Bull driver programme during May. Instead, Carlin has utilized the services of drivers such as Conor Daly, Sage Karam and RC Enerson in the interim, with Max Chilton remaining behind the wheel of his #59 car for the road and street course races.
Now, it is Kimball’s turn to step back behind the wheel of the #23 Chevrolet. In today’s announcement, the team’s owner, Trevor Carlin, stated that he was “excited” to be welcoming Charlie back to the team with ripKurrant on board and that he hoped Kimball would be able to use his experience to get good results.
“We’re really looking forward to being a part of ripKurrent’s debut into the NTT IndyCar Series and having Charlie back in the No. 23 for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500. ripKurrent is a new, innovative company, which is exactly the type of partner the series needs right now,” said Carlin. “We’re very excited to have Charlie back in the car at Gateway also. He brings so much experience and knowledge to the team and he’s shown how strong he is on the ovals, so hopefully, we can get ripKurrent a good result at their first race.”
The 2019 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park will take place next Saturday night, August 24. Prior to that, the NTT IndyCar Series will race this Sunday, August 18, at Pocono Raceway for the 2019 ABC Supply 500.