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Aug 24, 2014 - 07:43 AM
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Top-Five Finish for Kyle Gimple at Virginia International Raceway
Posted by: newsla on Aug 24, 2014 - 07:41 AM
Sports Cars
Top-Five Finish for Kyle Gimple at Virginia International Raceway


Kyle Gimple delivered another strong outing for Compass360 Racing at Virginia International Raceway on Saturday as he and co-driver Ryan Eversley drove to a fifth place finish as the top front-wheel drive car in Round 10 of the 2014 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge championship.

 

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The result underscored the strong mid-season push for the duo, as the previous six races have seen the No. 75 Compass360 Racing Children’s Tumor Foundation /HPD/Racing4Research.org Honda Civic notch four top-five finishes.

It was a welcome result for Gimple and the team after two frustrating race events at Indianapolis and Road America where some bad luck racing gremlins kept the team’s finishes from reflecting the group’s potential.

A brief rain shower on Friday was enough to cancel Friday’s qualifying session, which meant that the grid would be set by championship point order and that Gimple would start the 2.5-hour race from 10th.

“It was disappointing that we didn’t get to qualify because I think I could have had the pole,” said Gimple,” who has qualified the No. 75 Honda Civic among the top-five on the grid in each of the previous four race events. “The car was handling great yesterday. I think at minimum we would have had an easy top-five in qualifying - if not the pole.”

When the race went green, Gimple wasted no time in moving forward as he charged through the field. He improved seven positions to run third in just a matter of laps. As he maneuvered through the traffic ahead, the young racer made it look easy as he made pass after pass.

Gimple remained in the car for 1 hour and 10 minutes of hard running under the hot and humid Virginia race conditions as he remained at the front end of the field throughout a long period of green flag running in a race that saw just one caution period.

“The start of the race wasn’t as crazy as I was expecting it to be, I was just trying to work the traffic,” said Gimple. “Trying to get around everyone was the toughest. The biggest thing was just using the draft down the back stretch and use every corner I could to make passes. Anywhere I could, I tried and it worked out. Then we just rode in third trying to save tires and brakes. The heat wasn’t terrible, I was able to deal with it. When the safety car period came out, it was worse because the air wasn’t circulating through the car.”

The Compass360 Racing team called Gimple to pit road under green flag conditions to hand the car over to Eversley who took the Honda machine to the finish. He returned to the track 13th in the order and worked his way up back into the top-five. Despite a left side drive shaft breaking on the final lap, the duo took home a fifth place result.

Gimple and the Compass360 Racing team now look ahead to the final two races of the 2014 championship. The next IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge round is at Circuit of the Americas on September 19 & 20.

The Virginia International Raceway event will be televised on Sunday, August 31 at 10:00 AM ET on FOX Sports 1.


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