Photo: Tony DiZinno

Charlie Kimball’s car number switches to No. 42 for Indy 500

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INDIANAPOLIS – Charlie Kimball’s usual No. 83 Tresiba Chevrolet will take on a different number for the remainder of the month of May, with an announcement Monday morning he’ll swap to No. 42 for the 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

His team boss Chip Ganassi, his NASCAR teammate Kyle Larson and Novo Nordisk executive Michael Bachner joined Kimball for the announcement.

It’s a promotional program for Novo Nordisk, as Tresiba lasts at least 42 hours after first use, and also will honor 42 pioneers within the diabetes community.

“The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 will be the highlight of this year’s season and it gives me a great opportunity to honor the diabetes community and help inspire those people living with or affected by diabetes,” Kimball said in a release.

“As a race car driver and a person living with diabetes, the duration of action of Tresiba® is important to me and plays an important role in my management plan. I am honored to represent Novo Nordisk and Chip Ganassi Racing and to share my story with the diabetes community.”

For Kimball, the hope is that the number change mirrors Ganassi’s last 500-only one-off change – Dario Franchitti switched from No. 10 to No. 50 in 2012 at the ‘500 owing to Target’s 50 years in business, and promptly proceeded to win his third and Ganassi’s fourth Indianapolis 500 following a dramatic late race battle with Takuma Sato.

Kimball has been on a roll of late in the ‘500, with three top-10 finishes in the last four years including a third place finish last year.

He’s also fresh off his best run of the season in Saturday’s Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, where he qualified a career-best second and finished fifth, and yet afforded to feel slightly disappointed.

Rebellion confirms LMP1 return, all-star line-up for WEC super season

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Rebellion Racing has confirmed it will return to the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2018/19 ‘super season’ with an all-star line-up featuring Le Mans winners Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer.

Rebellion raced in LMP1 as a privateer between 2009 and 2016 before stepping down to LMP2 for the most recent season, capturing the class titles at the first attempt.

Following a push from the WEC and Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) to make LMP1 more appealing to privateer teams, Rebellion announced on Wednesday it would return to the premier class for the 2018/19 season with a two-car effort.

WEC LMP2 champion Bruno Senna will return with Rebellion next year, as will Mathias Beche, with the pair set to be joined by four new faces.

The most notable arrivals are Porsche factory drivers Lotterer and Jani, both of whom were left without an LMP1 drive following the closure of the German manufacturer’s program at the end of the season.

American racer Gustavo Menezes will also join Rebellion, stepping up after two years in LMP2, while outstanding 2017 rookie Thomas Laurent completes the Swiss team’s line-up.

“I am looking forward to coming back where my endurance career started nine years ago,” said Jani.

“Rebellion Racing played a huge role in my career and also helped me become a factory driver for Porsche. When Porsche stopped in LMP1, it was clear for me that I wanted to race again for Rebellion.

“With the new regulations, I hope we can reach the overall podium at Le Mans and with a bit of luck, maybe we can even grab some wins during the super season of WEC.”

“I am very happy to join the champion Rebellion team,” added three-time Le Mans winner Lotterer.

“The LMP1 project is very exciting and to be able to go on with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA WEC challenge is something I did not want to miss.

“I am motivated and looking forward to have a great time with great people there.”