Charlie Kimball crash cuts final warmup short for IndyCar at Barber

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The Chip Ganassi Racing garage at Barber Motorsports Park is likely a very busy place at the moment after Charlie Kimball’s crash halfway through this morning’s warmup for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver, who qualified 17th for today’s 90-lap Verizon IndyCar Series race (2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra), lost control of the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chevrolet in the Turn 12-13 complex and backed hard into the nearby tire barriers.

INDYCAR has confirmed that Kimball was checked at the infield care center and then cleared to drive.

The impact not only left significant damage to Kimball’s car, but also brought the 30-minute session to an end under red flag conditions with Josef Newgarden’s time of 1:09.2469 (119.572 mph) serving as the fastest.

“I feel badly for the guys, because they’ve worked hard all weekend trying to get me a good car,” Kimball told the IMS Radio Network. “We didn’t quite get there in qualifying – we’re still figuring that out – but I think we have a good race car. I have complete faith in those guys, they’ll get it back together.

“Unfortunately, it’s not the mentality we want to be having going into [today], getting ready for the race. But I think we’ll be in good shape.”

Helio Castroneves was second-quickest in warmup with a time of 1:09.3458, followed by defending Barber race champion Ryan Hunter-Reay in third (1:09.3464).

Juan Pablo Montoya was fourth in the session at 1:09.5179, and today’s pole sitter and current Verizon IndyCar Series points leader Will Power completed the Top 5 (1:09.5320).

Rain is in the forecast for today’s race, with a 60 percent chance of the wet stuff this afternoon in the Birmingham region.

Ferrari signs Callum Ilott to young driver academy

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Ferrari has confirmed the signing of rising British racer Callum Ilott to its prestigious driver academy ahead of the 2018 season.

Ilott, 18, is a former member of Red Bull’s junior program, and has spent the last three years racing in the FIA European Formula 3 series, taking eight race wins.

After finishing the 2017 season fourth in the championship with Prema Powerteam, Ilott has now linked up with the Ferrari Driver Academy in the next step of his racing career, becoming its first British member.

“Ferrari Driver Academy is pleased to announce that British driver Callum Ilott is the latest promising young driver to be selected for its development program,” an announcement from Ferrari reads.

“18 years old, Ilott joins the FDA in his third season in car racing, having just finished the FIA F3 European Championship. He comes with a strong pedigree in international Formula 3 racing, having made the jump directly from karting as reigning European Champion.

“Ilott joins Charles Leclerc, Antonio Fuoco, Guan Yu Zhou, Giuliano Alesi, Marcus Armstrong and Enzo Fittipaldi in the programme, which supports talented young drivers on their career path in motorsport.”

Besides its existing roster, the Ferrari Driver Academy also played a part in the careers of Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and the late Jules Bianchi.