Young racers eager to take the lead in Continental competition

Jan. 1, 2020
Up-and-coming Mustang Challenge Series driver Kyle Gimple is making his Continental Tire Challenge Series debut this weekend in the Garden State 250 at New Jersey Motorsports Park for the eighth round of the Grand-Am season.

Up-and-coming Mustang Challenge Series driver Kyle Gimple is making his Continental Tire Challenge Series debut this weekend in the Garden State 250 at New Jersey Motorsports Park for the eighth round of the Grand-Am season.

The 18-year-old Gimple will be joined by Alex Talbot the Matt Connolly Motorsports (MCM) Mazda Miata MX-5.

“I’m really looking forward to this opportunity to drive for MCM in the Continental Tires series,” says Gimple.

“What I am looking to gain from this opportunity is the experience driving in a series higher than what I am driving in now (the Mustang Challenge),” he notes. “The MX5 I will be driving is a great car to take this next step in my career. I have driven a similar car before, so I’m hoping there won’t be a big learning curve – although I know there will be a lot of traffic to contend with this weekend.”

Taking Rookie of the Year honors in the 2009 Skip Barber Western Regional Championship and finishing third in Driver Championship points, Gimple went on to claim the 2010 Barber championship with six wins and 11 podium finishes in just 12 events before signing with ICY Racing of the 2010 Miller Cup Mustang Challenge.

Gimple currently sits 10th in the Driver Points Championship in the Mustang Challenge although he missed the opening round of the series. He has competed in four of the five events in 2010 with all four starts inside the Top 10 with two Top 5 finishes, including a podium presence at Lime Rock Park.

 

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While co-driver Talbot is still in his first year racing professionally, he has acclimated himself nicely to the team and the car, according to team owner Matt Connolly, who says the tandem will have a strong race weekend and give the racers a boost going into the final rounds of the series.

“I am quite pumped up for this weekend and I think MCM has put together the perfect platform for a successful weekend,” Talbot reports. “We have a new motor with all the updates we have been missing, we are at the closest thing for a home track and we have the very talented Kyle Gimple as my co-driver now.”

“Everything I’ve heard about Kyle, both as a young man and driver, have been very positive,” says Connolly.

“He’s accomplished a great deal in a very short time and I’m looking forward to seeing what he and Alex can do behind the wheel this weekend,” Connolly continues. “The car is a former race winner in this series, and my guys have worked so hard to give Alex and Kyle the best car they possibly can. It would be a great debut for Kyle and great progression for Alex to get their first podium together.”

Matt Bell, another rising star in Grand-Am racing who is currently in the Continental Tire Challenge Series for Stevenson Motorsports, will join the leading Rookie of the Year candidate Dion von Moltke this weekend in the NJMP 250 at the New Jersey track.

This will mark Bell’s debut in the Daytona Prototype class. Last year he tied the Continental Tire Challenge Series record with five pole positions in one season. Bell’s streak has continued this year by obtaining the first pole position and podium finish as he and co-driver Jeff Bucknum returned to racing in the No. 6 Sunoco Stevenson Camaro.

 

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“The chance to drive a competitive DP car with a good friend, Dion von Moltke, is fantastic,” says Bell. “I have seen the Doran-Dallara team and am always impressed by the projected professionalism as seen from the outside. I can’t wait to experience it firsthand.”

Bell goes on to point out that “I’ve had the honor of racing alongside Dion in the past and am looking forward to working with him again this weekend.”

von Moltke is equally excited for the opportunity to drive with Bell this weekend and continue his first full Daytona Prototype season. He’s had two Top 5 finishes, tying for the Rookie of the Year points lead and setting the pace in the Trueman/Akin sessions in seven of the eight rounds.

“I am really pumped for New Jersey,” von Moltke says. “I could not be more excited than to be driving with Matt Bell. Matt and I have become quite good friends during the racing weekends as we are both managed by P1 Groupe, so I have been able to follow his amazing career quite closely,” he adds.

“After Daytona I said to myself I really need to step it up on all fronts and I have been working very hard to do exactly that,” says von Moltke. “I am taking a new approach to my workout regiment including some runs in excess of three hours and I could not be physically or mentally in a better place right now, so I am looking to get Kevin and everyone at Doran Racing on the podium before season’s end.”

For more information, visit www.continentaltire.com.

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