It's Official - Carlin to Enter Indycar in 2018
It's a move that many of us, if not all of us saw coming.
Since the very start of the off-season, speculation has been rife that the 2016 Indy Lights championship winning outfit, Carlin Racing, would be making the big step up and entering Indycar full time.
Today, team boss Trevor Carlin made it official. We're delighted to finally be able to announce our entry into the Indycar Series, the result of a long-term ambition of the team," he said in a statement to the press.
Together with team manager Colin Hale, Carlin will field a two car entry for the entirety of the season, with ex-Ganassi drivers Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball behind the wheel.
Carlin will be powered by Chevrolet, but unlike every other Indycar squad, the team will be based in the UK.
"Carlin being the first British team to enter the IndyCar Series in the modern era is a result of a lot of hard work and ambition," newly minted driver Max Chilton said. "IndyCar is exceptionally competitive, but the introduction of the new aero package will help level the playing field slightly. I know that finding the maximum in a spec series like this is where Carlin really excels."
Max Chilton in his Ganassi Honda at Sonoma. Photo Credit: Mike Finnegan/Sonoma Raceway
Chilton was an European Formula 3 champion before making the step up to Formula One where he raced for the Marussia outfit. After losing his seat in 2014, Chilton made the jump to Indy Lights where he drove for Carlin Racing before setting off on a two year stint with Chip Ganassi Racing.
Kimball, on the other hand, began his Indycar journey in 2011 by signing with Chip Ganassi Racing. Over his 7 year career, he has racked up 4 podium finishes and 1 win (Mid Ohio, 2013).
Outside of their experience, both drivers bring with them substantial sponsorship money, Kimball have long and deep ties with Novo Nordisk and their line of diabetic pharmacuticals (Kimball is a Type 1 diabetic). Chilton too has long been linked with deep pocketed sponsors, most notably his father Grahame Chilton.
Charlie Kimball at Indianapolis. Photo Credit: bobjenningsworldracing.com
Whether or not Carlin will make an impact on the 2018 season remains to be seen, but to many this is the latest in a string of developments showing the growth and overall improvement of the Indycar series.
The 2018 Indycar season kicks off on March 11 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.