Carlin Takes a Chance
Carlin Motorsports will be stepping up from the junior level, to the main level of open-wheel racing. They have had a list of impressive list of names come through their ladder series including: Ed Jones, Josef Newgarden, Takuma Sato, Robert Wickens, and Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball – the final two have announced they’ll be driving for Carlin full time in the 2018 IndyCar series. Carlin’s performance in the IndyLights program has been promising in the three years the team has been in existence. The team has placed in the top 3 of the championship every year, including First Place in 2016, bolstered no doubt by the performance of Ed Jones who won the championship that year
Prior to the switch, both Chilton and Kimball drove for Chip Ganassi racing, alongside Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan. 2017 wasn’t very impressive for Chilton, he only had one top-five finish in the season; it was even less impressive for Kimbal, no top-five finishes. Everyone has made the rumblings about the reasons Chilton and Kimball getting rides with Carlin – that it is only because of monetary reasons. Max’s father was on a hedge fund of a major supporter of Carlin and Kimball with the diabetes disc sponsor.
I am hopeful a move to a smaller team will be helpful to Chilton and Kimbal. At Chip Ganassi, I’m sure the biggest support went to the perennial championship contender (and husband of amazing Emma) Scott Dixon. But I’m also considered a realist and, I’m not looking for spectacular turn around of their performance, neither am I going to give them a ‘reset’ year. You’ll notice I’m giving the other new teams a year to get their feet under them. I believe that Carlin has been in open-wheel racing for long enough, and they’ve got two drivers who have been in the IndyCar series for some time now. If it had been that Carlin was starting their first season ever in open-wheel racing, or they had less experienced drivers: they’d get a year to get things together. As it stands, they don’t.
But a new team is a new team and anything helps right?