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May 03, 2014 - 04:54 PM
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Kyle Gimple Takes Sixth Row Start for Home Race
Posted by: newsla on May 03, 2014 - 04:53 PM
Sports Cars
Kyle Gimple Takes Sixth Row Start for Home Race


Picking your battles can be nearly as important as winning them.

With the grid for Saturday’s Continental Tire Grand Prix being set in a 15-minute qualifying session on Friday afternoon, Compass 360R driver Kyle Gimple was looking to get the most that he could out of the No. 75 Honda Civic Si Cure NF with Jack/ CTF/ HPD entry for round three of the 2014 IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSC) championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

 

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Gimple, who raced in both CTSC as well as TUDOR United SportsCar Championship competition in the most recent round at Sebring International Raceway, put two solid laps in the bank as he looked to capitalize on the perfect tire temperature on his third flying lap.

Unfortunately, after being up in the early opening sectors of the flying lap, Gimple was looking good only to suffer a big sideways moment in one of the faster sections of the circuit. Knowing that he was going to start the race on the same tires that he is qualifying with, Gimple elected to bring the Honda to the pits to save some precious Continental Tire towards the 2 hour and 30 minute-race on Saturday.

“I didn’t want to completely burn down the tires and waste them today,” said Gimple. “So I think I will be able to make up the positions during the race because everyone was just turning laps out there (during qualifying). With the marked tire deal everyone is going to burn their tires off a little bit sooner than us so I will be able to make up those positions and then come in and hand the car off to Ryan (Eversley) and see what he can do at the finish.”

The track, which boasts the picturesque corkscrew and fabled Rainey Curves as well as the Andretti Hairpin, is known for a lot of things but not particularly for having lots of options when it comes time to make a pass. While he had been hoping to use his previous experience on the home track where he has also spent many a days coaching for Skip Barber to lock in a spot closer to the front, Gimple will focus on what he can do to make some positive progress when the green flag flies on Saturday.

“Finding good spots to pass could be kind of tricky tomorrow,” said Gimple. “I think for me if I can get a good run out of turn-four, then I will definitely be able to pass some cars in turn-five. I can also be aggressive and go into turn-six, but that kind of depends on how well I know the driver! The main thing is to manage our tire wear and avoid any trouble early on and just get what we can out of this weekend points-wise. It’s not a Honda track but we have to still maximize tomorrow.”

Saturday’s two-hour, 30-minute race begins at 3:45 p.m. ET (12:45 p.m. PT), and will be streamed live on IMSA.com.

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