From Ventura in Southern California, Kimball spent the summer of 1973 working at Dan Gurney's factory and, while studying mechanical engineering at Stanford, spent the following summer as a mechanic in Formula 5000. When he graduated from Stanford in 1975 with an MSc in machine design he started working with Vel's Parnelli in F5000 and moved into design at the end of 1976.Two years later he moved to England to assist John Barnard with the design of the Chaparral 2K. He quit racing for two years and worked in offshore oil drill design before returning in November 1980 to become chief design engineer at Patrick Racing. Patrick's cars won the Indianapolis 500 in 1981 and 1982 and in 1984 Gordon went back to England to work with Barnard at McLaren. He moved with Barnard to Ferrari in 1988 and in 1990 rejoined McLaren and engineered Ayrton Senna in the latter part of his world championship-winning season.In June 1990 he was appointed technical director of Benetton Formula - replacing Barnard - but the arrival of Tom Walkinshaw the following summer saw him being replaced in November 1991 by TWR engineer Ross Brawn. Kimball returned to the United States and set up his own design consultancy business, doing work for a variety of different clients, including Dan Gurney's All American Racers which was having trouble with the design of its Eagle-Toyota CART challenger.