Charlie Kimball is taking his message to fight and control diabetes north of the border this weekend.
Kimball will sport a new livery on the No. 83 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda at the Honda Indy Toronto. The car features a blue and white paint scheme with the logos of Kimball’s sponsor, Novo Nordisk, and Diabetes Canada prominently displayed.
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Diagnosed 10 years ago with Type 1 diabetes, Kimball has raced with sponsorship from international pharmaceutical manufacturer Novo Nordisk for his entire Verizon IndyCar Series career beginning in 2011. The program at the Honda Indy Toronto, the street-course event around Exhibition Place running Friday through Sunday, marks the first time that Novo Nordisk Canada is engaged in Kimball’s program at Chip Ganassi Racing.
“As a global leader in diabetes care, Novo Nordisk has a responsibility to invest in initiatives that support the diabetes community,” said Brian Hilberdink, president at Novo Nordisk Canada, Inc. “Our partnership with Diabetes Canada and Charlie Kimball reinforces this commitment and we're proud to support Charlie live his dream of driving professionally while managing his diabetes.
“Diabetes literally doesn't slow him down and we hope his story will inspire others. The new car livery in Toronto leverages our strong corporate brand and reputation in the diabetes community in Canada. It also allows for a unique opportunity to partner with Diabetes Canada."
An estimated 11 million Canadians have been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Diabetes Canada recently unveiled a new “End Diabetes” logo and is using the Honda Indy Toronto weekend to promote the logo and its message. Novo Nordisk Canada and Diabetes Canada will entertain more than 100 members of the Canadian diabetes community as guests this weekend at the track.
“Diabetes is a serious disease that can have devastating health impacts,” said Rick Blickstead, president and CEO, Diabetes Canada. “We're proud to partner with Novo Nordisk to tell Charlie's story, which shows that with technology, medication and the right team, you can live well with diabetes."
Verizon IndyCar Series action gets underway on the 1.786-mile street course with a pair of practice sessions Friday (10:40 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. ET), followed by a third practice at 10 a.m. Saturday, ahead of knockout qualifying at 2:15 p.m. Saturday. All of those sessions stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com, with a same-day qualifying telecast airing at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
A final warmup practice begins at 11:30 a.m. Sunday (RaceControl.IndyCar.com), ahead of the 85-lap race that airs live at 3 p.m. on CNBC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network. An encore presentation of the race airs at 7 p.m. Sunday.
Bourdais to attend Toronto race
Sebastien Bourdais will attend the Honda Indy Toronto, the first Verizon IndyCar Series race for the Dale Coyne Racing driver since he was injured in a crash attempting to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 in May.
Bourdais sustained hip and pelvis fractures in the May 20 incident, but did attend the 101st running of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" on May 28. Since then, the four-time Indy car champion has been at home in St. Petersburg, Florida, working hard on rehabilitation. He posted a video last week on social media that showed him swimming and putting light weight on the leg.
Esteban Gutierrez continues filling in for Bourdais in the No. 18 Honda. Bourdais hopes to return to competition before the end of the season.