Max Chilton made his racing debut with the Carlin Indy Car team this weekend, providing guidance and insight to the only team in the pit lane without experience in the series.  Taking to the track for the season opener, the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg, Florida, Chilton made history for the team, completing the 110 lap race to come home 19th.

While an eventful race left both team and driver frustrated at the final result, Chilton’s car ran without issue and the No. 59 crew completed their first live pit stops without incident.

Chilton made steady progress as the race got underway, avoiding the spinning car of team mate Kimball who brought out the first full caution on lap three. Passing on vital feedback over the radio during the team’s first race, the Gallagher driver stayed clear of incidents, until making a late pit stop in the final laps of the race. Exiting the pits on black Firestones, Chilton struggled for tire temperature and hit the tire barriers, bringing out the seventh full course caution of the race. Recovering with assistance, Chilton continued to finish 19th.

Max Chilton, No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet: “We just finished our first race ever for the Carlin INDYCAR team. The No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet started 20th, but we finished 19th so we moved forward one position. It was a long hard race. I think it was around two hours and 20 minutes and there were probably six or seven yellow sessions, so it was really hard to keep our tires up to temperature which was something we were struggling with all day. When the tires were in, we had good performance, so we made gains throughout the weekend. Considering this was Carlin’s first INDYCAR race, I’d say it wasn’t a bad showing at all. We definitely have work to do and we aren’t where we want to be yet. I think all-around we did a good job and we’ll make sure we’re ready for Phoenix.”

Chilton team will be back in action for the next round in the series at the Phoenix Grand Prix, ISM Raceway, Arizona from 14 – 15 April.