Carlin to Join IndyCar in 2018 with Chilton, Kimball

By Christopher DeHarde, IndyCar & Road to Indy Writer

After months of speculation, Trevor Carlin and his organization have announced that they will join the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2018.

The two car effort will be powered by Chevrolet and have former Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball driving. Both have driven for Carlin in junior formulae and their cars will be respectively branded by Gallagher and Novo Nordisk.

Chilton drove for Carlin in Formula 3, Formula 2 and Indy Lights, winning in all three championships. Kimball drove for Carlin in the 2005 British F3 championship, winning five races and finishing second in the championship to teammate Alvaro Parente

For Carlin, this adds a new dimension to their open wheel racing empire. After becoming European open wheel racing stalwarts in Formula 2, British F3 and FIA European F3 before expanding his empire in the U.S. in Indy Lights.

Carlin won their first three Indy Lights races with Ed Jones in 2015 before winning the title in 2016.

“We’re delighted to finally be able to announce our entry into the Verizon IndyCar Series, the result of a long-term ambition of the team,” Team Principal Trevor Carlin in a team statement. “To be joined on that journey in our debut season by brands such as Gallagher and Novo Nordisk and with drivers we already have a race winning history with in Max and Charlie, is beyond what we could have expected. By no means do we underestimate the challenge and competition that lies ahead, but I have great faith in the young and passionate team that our Team Manager Colin [Hale] and I have put together.”

“Today’s announcement brings so much joy to everyone involved in making this a reality,” said Chilton in a team statement. “Carlin being the first British team to enter the Verizon IndyCar Series in the modern era is a result of a lot of hard work and ambition following the team’s move into American racing a few years ago.

“I am super excited for 2018 as Carlin is like family to me. Having raced with them on and off since 2009 and having had my most competitive years with the team, I know we can work toward great things in INDYCAR. The Verizon IndyCar Series 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.”

For Kimball, the excitement is contagious.

“I’m so excited to join Carlin for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season,” said Kimball in a team statement. “They were a big part of launching my career when I raced in Europe and we had a lot of success together back in 2005 in the British Formula Three Championship. It seems like everything fell into place at the right time to have this opportunity to work with Trevor and the whole Carlin team again.

“I’ve already got two years of experience working with Max as a teammate and I think our strengths and weaknesses will really complement each other as we begin this new adventure. The Verizon IndyCar Series is not just gaining a new race team, which is of course exciting, but really gaining a capable and competitive group of people that make up this team.

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A 2012 graduate of LSU, Christopher DeHarde primarily focuses on the NTT IndyCar Series and the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. DeHarde has actively covered motorsports since 2014.