Kimball banks second straight GP of Indianapolis top-five finish

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INDIANAPOLIS – As in 2014, Charlie Kimball wasn’t really on the radar heading into the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, but emerged at the end of the race with his first top-five finish of the season.

Last year it was a 23rd to fifth, and this year it was a 14th to fifth run aboard the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.

The result today is not only his first top-five but also his first top-10 result of the year.

Kimball had to take the escape road to avoid the first corner chaos and wound up one of several drivers who pitted on Lap 2. He was back to the top-10 – in 10th – by Lap 34 and made it to the lead by Lap 62 before making his final pit stop of the race.

The gained track position over those 60 laps put him in position to not lose too much when he made his final stop. He reemerged in sixth, which became his final finishing position of fifth once James Hinchcliffe pitted for the final time on an off-sequence strategy on Lap 75.

“A lot of it came to the car just being that good,” Kimball told ABC’s Jon Beekhuis post-race. “A lot of credit goes to the Team Chevy guys. The aero kits are competitive in the corners, and had the horsepower down the straights.

“A lot of it happened in pit lane and so much has to go to the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi guys in the pits. Good stops, good in and out laps, they gave me a fuel mileage number and car was quick and able to hit that number.”

How good would he have been if he qualified better?

“That’s always gotta be the comment right?” he added. “I’d like to keep racing like I am and qualify a lot better. That’s our goal heading into the rest of the month, and go have a good race like that one.”

It was nice for Kimball, who has been the target of various other cars this year, to have a trouble-free race and end P5.

He also ended best of the quartet of Chip Ganassi Racing cars. Teammates Tony Kanaan (seventh) and Scott Dixon (10th) at least made it three CGR cars in the top-10, while Sebastian Saavedra ended 17th in his second start of the season.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”