Simona
de Silvestro

LATEST SNIPPET

Simona ran in the top six for all but six of the 90 laps in race 1 at Houston, finishing behind winner Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Danica Patrick (win at Twin Ring Motegi in 2008, runner-up at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway in 2010) and Sarah Fisher (2000 at Kentucky Speedway) are the only other females to record an IndyCar Series podium finish. In race 2, she started at 17th and finished in the top 10.

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Bio
Racing Background
Career Highlights
Snippets
Photo Gallery
Atlantic Series
Formula BMW
Schedule - 2013
Race Results - 2013
News - 2013

News - Through 2012

2012 IRL Race Schedule
2012 IRL Race Schedule & Results
2011 IRL Race Schedule & Results
2010 IndyCar Series
2008 Schedule & Results
2007 Atlantic Schedule & Results
2006 Formula BMW Schedule
Contact:
www.simonadesilvestro.com or E-Mail
Related Issue:
Women Racers Directory, Women in Racing, Women Racers, More Women in Racing, Race Schedules, Notable Women

Bio


Name: Simona de Silvestro
Pronunciation: Simona (Suh-Moan-Uh); De Silvestro(Dee Sil-Veh-Stroh) Nationality: Swiss and Italian
Date of Birth: 9/1/1988
Place of Birth: Thun, Switzerland
Hometown Geneva, Switzerland, Italy
Residence: Scottsdale, Arizona
Height: 5’7’’
Weight: 150lbs
Favorite Circuit: Road Atlanta, VIR
Favorite Driver: Michael Schumacher
Hobbies: Golf, Tennis, Wake Boarding, Music, Karting, Fitness
Ambition: Champ Car or Formula One driver
Pronunciation: Simona (Suh-Moan-Uh) De Silvestro(Dee Sil-Veh-Stroh)
When she was young, Simona de Silvestro’s future looked to include anything but motorsports, especially because racing had been banned in her native Switzerland since 1955.

But de Silvestro exceled at every sport she’s played growing up. She won her first ski race when she was 3 years old, was a top regional fencer and played championship youth tennis. So it wasn’t a surprise that she took to racing quickly, winning her first kart race.

"When I was a baby, my dad says I was quiet only when I watched Formula 1 on TV," she said. "When I was 4, he did a go-kart demonstration, but I couldn't reach the pedals, so I cried the whole day. By the time I was 9 or 10, I knew that racing was what I wanted to do, and my whole life has been about it. Driving open-wheel race cars has always been my goal. I really never had anything else in my head."

De Silvestro spent her early career honing her racing skills in European karting and junior formula series while racing under the Italian flag. In 2006, she crossed the Atlantic Ocean to pursue her open-wheel racing dreams.

From success in the Formula BMW USA championship and the Atlantic Championship, de Silvestro joined the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2010 and was runner-up in Rookie of the Year standings.

Snippets - 2012 and before


Simona started in the 24th spot and was involved in an incident on the 69th lap, ending her day in the 24th spot at Milwaukee.

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Simona qualified 21st at Baltimore but because she, once again, got docked 10 spots on the grid because of the quality and competitiveness of Lotus engines, so she started in 25th (last place). She finished 22nd after clipping the wall after the bumpy chicane.. Good, old underpowered, gas guzzling Lotus engines.  

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Simona started in 22nd at Mid-Ohio and finished 23rd.

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De Silvestro Qualifies 23 for Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

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Simona started in 25th at Edmonton and finished 23rd. The Lotus was the last car running.at the end of the race.

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De Silvestro qualified in the 21st place but was moved back and started in last place (25th) because they started with an up-dated Lotus engine. The engine lasted 9 of 85 laps. Lotus obviously isn't spending the time nor money on their IndyCar program compared to all of their other racing programs, especially their F1 program and Rallye programs. Why does IndyCar continue to allow this embarrasment go on?

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De Silvestro Qualifies 21st at Honda Indy Toronto but because of the rules on new engines, she ends up starting in last place (25th). Nine other drivers also received penalties prior to the start of the race.

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Simona gridded 22nd at Iowa of 25 drivers and finished in the 14th spot - in a Lotus.

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Simona gridded 23rd of 25 drivers but went out on lap 62, ending up 24th.

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An Early Night for Simona at Texas Motor Speedway

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Simona, driving the only Lotus in the field of 24 Hondas and Chevys, started 25th at Detroit and worked her way up to 13th by the finish.

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Lotus HVM Racing Exits Indy 500 Earlier Than Hoped

Simona gets screwed because of bad decisions that IndyCar make keeping Lotus in the "competition". PLEASE, IndyCar, allow the remaining Lotus driver's to move to an engine manufacturer who can give them a real chance to race. Why penalize drivers and teams who trusted IndyCar that they would have well prepared rides. She got in 10 laps and finished 32, where she started. http://bit.ly/KncwTq 

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Simona qualified 32nd for the 96th running of the Indy 500.

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Simona De Silvestro Announces Winner of Charity Helmet Design Contest.

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Simona started 21st again this week at San Paulo and finished 20th.

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Lotus HVM Racing Better at Barber. Simona started 21st again this week at Barber and finished 20th.

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Simona started 21st at St Pete and went out early in the race, finishing 24th.

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At the first IndyCar race of the season Simona De Silvestro got stuck in traffic during qualifying. Unable to get a clean lap, she will start tomorrow's Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the outside of row 11.

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Simona had a good two days of testing in the new Lotus IndyCar at Sebring and heads for Barber Motorsports Park looking for more progress before the first race of the season March 25 at St. Pete.

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Lotus Shakedown & Testing a Success.

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Simona de Silvestro finishes the IndyCar year ranked 20th.

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HVM Racing Kicks Off an Action-Packed Weekend in Las Vegas

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Simona de Silvestro was gridded 13th at Kentucky and finished in 25th. but holds onto the 20th slot in the standings with one race to go.

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Simona de Silvestro was gridded 13th at Kentucky and finished in 25th.

 

Simona de Silvestro was gridded 26th at Indy Japan and finished in 14th.

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Simona de Silvestro was allowed back in the country and gridded 10th at Baltimore. She led a lap and finished in 12th.

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Simona de Silvestro led Sunday's pre-race warmup in Baltimore, but it was Tony Kanaan's brake failure and big crash that made the headlines.

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Issues with U.S. Customs and Border Protection kept regular driver Simona de Silvestro in Switzerland, and not in the Sonoma race.

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Simona started 26th at New Hampshire and finished in 16th.

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Simona started 14th at Mid-Ohio and finished in 12th.

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Simona gives teen the ride of a lifetime.

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Simona gridded in 16th at Edmonton and went out on lap 54 of 80 finishing in 24th.  

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Simona was the fastest woman in qualifying at Toronto and started 17th. She finished in the top 10.

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 Simona did not start the race at Iowa.

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Simona will start 26th in the Milwaukee 225 after crash on second warm-up lap of her qualifying run. She finished 25th after 58 laps with handling problems.

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Race 1 Simona qualified 29th and finished 26th at Texas, 3 laps behind. Race 2 she drew spot 22 and finished 27th, 3 laps behind. Just wondering how much of this was the car and how much of it was her hands.

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Simona qualified as the top woman in this year's Indy500 and did it with second degree burns on her hands. She clipped the wall early in the race and was forced out with handling problems.

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De Silvestro's goal: 'Get back in car quickly'

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Simona is gridded 18th of 27 cars for the Long Beach Grand Prix.

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Simona De Silvestro started 13th at Alabama. She worked her way up to 7th. Someone spun in front of her and she avoided hitting him but killed the engine and dropped to 19th. She worked her way back up to 9th by the 77th lap and held that position where she finished. She is currently tied with Scott Dixson for 4th in points after two races.

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Simona De Silvestro started 17th and finished fourth in St. Petersberg after having a number of chance to pass Tony Kanaan for third. Tony was using his Push to Pass and Simona wasn't. She ended the race with 13 PTPs left.

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Congrats to IndyCar Rookie of the year 2010 Simona De Silvestro for picking up a three-year sponsorship with Entergy, the second-largest owner/operator of nuclear energy plants.

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Award-winning Simona de Silvestro back with HVM for 2011 IndyCar Series.  

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 In the final race of the 2010 IndyCar series, Simona started 25th and ended 23rd. She ecumulated enough points in her 17 races to finish 19th of 41 racers for the season.

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Simona started 19th at Kentucky, had contacat on lap 78 of a 200 lap race and finished 25.

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Simona started 11th on the Sonoma grid, was doing well again this week until EJ Viso knocked her off the track from behind. By the end, she had worked her way back up to 13th.

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Simona gridded 10th at Mid-Ohio, and was in 8th at the end of the first lap, holding that position until lap 25 when she pitted, coming out in 7th place. She held that spot until moving up one on lap 44. She moved up to 4th during pit stops , dropped back to 7th, Raphael Matos passed her on lap 75 dropping her to 8th where she finished. She moved up to 18th over all in the standings.

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Simona started 7th at Edmonton, and was in 6th at the end of the first lap, holding that position until lap 40 when Ryan Hunter-Ray passed her. I believe she was bumped off the track by E.J. Viso on lap 49 which dropped her to 19th. By lap 74 she had worked her way back up to 12th then 11th on lap 81. On lap 88 it appears that she lost power and that was it for the day placing her in 22nd at the finish. She's currently 19th over all in the standings.

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De Silvestro starts season-high 7th at Edmonton.

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Simona started 21st at Toronto and finished as the top rookie in 9th place. She stands 19th overall.

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Simona De Silvestro suffered a minor burn on her right hand when the No. 78 Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing car made contact with the SAFER Barrier exiting Turn 2 on Lap 99 at Texas. See scary YouTube

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Simona was gridded 14th at St. Pete, got up to 4th and was clipped by Graham Rahal, dropping her back to 16th where she finished a lap down.

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Simona is gridded 14th at St. Pete in front of Danica Patrick (gridded 21st) and Milka Duno (gridded 24th). The race was rain delayed and rescheduled for Monday, March 29th at 10am EST.

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Simona, who won four times and finished third in the Atlantic series last season, will race a full Izod IndyCar Series schedule in partnership between HVM Racing and Team Stargate Worlds.

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 By finishing second at Lagua Seca, 21 year old Simona would clinch the Atlantic She finished 3rd in the series.

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Second-year driver Simona De Silvestro won the Atlantic race on the streets of Long Beach, the day after Danica Patrick became the first woman to win a major open wheel race. Simona's best finish last season was 7th. Her next race is Houston, April 27. The Swiss racer is the only woman among the 22 entries.

One of Auto Week's "Five of the fastest women you will ever meet"

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Second-year driver Simona De Silvestro is once again entered to drive the No. 34 entry for Newman Wachs Racing in the Atlantic Series. The Swiss racer is the only woman among the 22 entries.

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Simona was involved in a first lap accident in her first Mazda MX-5 race - Round 8 (and final round) at Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, Utah. She had been gridded 7th in the 30 car field.

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Champ Car Atlantic standout and one of the top female racers in the country Simona will complete in Round 8 (and final round) of the Mazda MX-5 Cup at Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, Utah, Saturday, September 15.

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Simona started 17th at the San Jose Grand Prix July 29th and finished 10th out of 25. She is currently 18th in the standings. The final race of the season is scheduled for August 11-12 at Road America.

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Simona finished 4th in Round 9 and 10 of Formula BMW at the San Jose Grand Prix. July 29-30, 2006. She holds 3rd over-all, one point behind Matt Lee. Next up, the Grand Prix of Denver, August 11-13, 2006

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Simona had two third-place finishes in support of the US Grand Prix and is the first woman ever on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway podium. She is the most successful female driver in Formula BMW worldwide as she stands fourth in the Championship points after Round 8 out of more than 30 drivers.

News - 2013


KV Racing Technology Starts 3rd and 11th at the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Season Opener in St. Pete

News - Through 2012

Busy Week for Lotus HVM Racing in Fontana


Lotus HVM Racing and driver Simona De Silvestro have had a busy week since arriving here in Fontana on Tuesday. The team had a good test on Wednesday and was prepared for a good qualifying today with a newly updated engine.

Tom Brown, team technical director, was pleased with the Wednesday test. "It was a good test," he said. "We ran 238 miles and made good progress considering it was Simona's first time here. We concentrated on race runs and have a great baseline to work with."

The team received a new engine with the latest updates from Lotus late last night. Due to a delay in customs, the engine didn't arrive at the track until very late requiring the team to stay past 2:00 am to complete the installation.

Sadly, that hard work was for naught. In this morning's practice the engine experienced a failure and will have to be replaced with a previously used engine. The team was unable to install the second engine in time for qualifying leaving De Silvestro watching from the timing stand.

Keith Wiggins, team owner, was optimistic coming into the day. "Well," he said, "it's the last race of the season. We came here and tested in order to get as many miles as we could. Simona and the team had a good test session. We came here today with high hopes having received another fresh engine, the best to date for the weekend, last night. The guys worked hard to put it in, but unfortunately it had a failure today so we didn't get to qualify. We'll go back to one of the other engines for tonight's practice and tomorrows race. We would have had a grid penalty anyway, so we'll still be starting at the back. Our main focus is to have a solid, long race in order to give Simona as much experience on the oval in order to start getting ready for next year."

Vincent Pereme, Motorsport Engine Manager for Lotus Racing also commented on the situation. "We brought a new spec engine for this race with all the improvements we could bring, since we had the chance to re-homologate the engine," he said. "Unfortunately, after having fitted the engine in the car yesterday evening, we only got to do a few laps this morning. The engine had an issue, which is still under investigation here at the track, and back at the factory, to ensure that this will not happen again during tomorrow's race. For now, there is no obvious explanation for this failure and we want to apologize to the HVM Racing team and Simona for taking away her chance to fight her way forward in the qualifying session. We will do everything possible to fine-tune the engine on the car for this evening's test session. And, after that, we just all need to concentrate on tomorrow's race."
Source: Press release

Day Ends Early in Baltimore for De Silvestro and Lotus HVM Racing


The race started with the threat of rain; just the way the Lotus HVM Racing team had hoped. On lap one Simona De Silvestro, driver of the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car had contact and pitted for a new nose. On lap six, she radioed that she had rain on her visor. The team chose to continue racing on the slick tires as the track was not completely wet and gambled that the rain would hold off a bit longer. On lap 19 a yellow-flag came out and De Silvestro pitted for her rain tires. It was a good call. Half the team's stayed on slick tires and half, like De Silvestro, changed to rain tires. Rain tires was the definitely the right choice as the rain got heavier and the track slicker.

On lap 21 De Silvestro suffered some front-wing damage, but the team decided to run with the damaged wing as long as possible to not lose position. On lap 22 the team called her in to rip off the broken part of the wing and changed back to red slick tires as the track had started to dry and the rain looked to be moving out of the area. On lap 24 she served a drive-through penalty for the incident that caused the damage.

Even with her earlier issues, De Silvestro was running 14th when she hit the wall ending her race. "Well, I'm disappointed because I made a mistake," she said. "I hit the curb in the chicane and it ended our day. Until then it was kind of a crazy race. We made some positions; we don't know where we would have finished. This time it's kind of my fault. It's a shame because we were doing really well. Now you just go to the next one I guess."

The incident happened coming out of the chicane. De Silvestro hit the second curb a little bit too hard and got airborne hitting the outside wall with the left-hand side of the car.

Team manager, Shane Seneviratne was disappointed as well considering how well De Silvestro has been driving this season. "It's obviously disappointing," he said. "Simona has driven great all year. She made a mistake here that put her out of the race. We had a couple of incidents earlier on, but they were small ones. The team changed the front wing out and we recovered from it. I'm disappointed for all the sponsors that are here and want to thank them for all their support. We'll do our best at Fontana."

Keith Wiggins, team owner, had high hopes for a good result since De Silvestro drives this track so well. "As the race turned out we had a pretty good opportunity," he said. "Like everyone else, we just needed to stay out of trouble. We looked quite good early. We had a solid strategy that was playing out, but we weren't able to stay clean until the end. It's just unfortunate that it ended that way."

Technical director, Tom Brown, agrees that De Silvestro had a good shot at a very strong finish. "It was becoming an interesting race," he said. "Multiple strategies were being played out among the teams. We were looking very good. Sim was pushing hard and got bit by the chicane around mid-way. As always we pushed and worked hard all weekend to keep maximizing what we had."

The team goes back to Indianapolis tomorrow before heading back west for the season finale in Fontana on Saturday, September 15th.
Source: Press release

IZOD IndyCar Driver Simona De Silvestro Celebrates Her Birthday in Baltimore


Driver of the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car, Simona De Silvestro, celebrated her birthday today at the Grand Prix of Baltimore. The 24-year-old Swiss driver was quick this morning in the wet and was hoping for a birthday present of rain for qualifying.

De Silvestro was in the middle of her quickest lap when Graham Rahal crashed bringing out a red-flag and ending the team's hope for the opportunity to move into the second round of qualifying for the first time this season.

"We just didn't get a clear lap in," De Silvestro said. "It's pretty frustrating because I had a really good lap going when the red flag came out. It would have been good enough to qualify in the top 12 and good enough to get us into the next round. But, that's racing and now we just have to focus on the race tomorrow."

HVM Racing considers Baltimore their home-away-from-home. The team held their 2012 season launch here at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Hotel in February and is entertaining a large contingent of sponsors from the area this weekend including Entergy, AREVA, NEI, WTS, Rev 1 and the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Hotel.

Team owner, Keith Wiggins was disappointed with qualifying, but feels the team still has a chance for a good result tomorrow. "I hate to say it again," he said, "but obviously we're really disappointed this time because it's Baltimore. We knew we could do a good job but for the sake of a red flag. To have been able to record a twelfth-place would have at least given us some feel of pride with the handicap that we have. We still have our 10-grid penalty for the engine, but at least we would have felt better about it. But, at the end of the day it won't change much where we will end up on the grid. We still have the same job to do tomorrow. We know we have a fast car and a fast driver, so we need to just plan for a really good strategy."

Shane Seneviratne, HVM Racing team manager, was pragmatic about the qualifying session. "We had a good car and a lot of potential," he said. "Unfortunately the session was red-flagged with Rahal's crash which caught us out. We were on a good lap when that happened and if we'd have had the opportunity to finish that lap we would have qualified in the middle of the pack and even advanced to the next session. It's unfortunate; I think we have a good race car. We just need to look forward to tomorrow. "

The Grand Prix of Baltimore airs live on NBC Sports Network at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Source: Press release

De Silvestro Gains 10 Positions to Finish 17th at the GoPro Indy GP of Sonoma


The Swiss driver of the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car, Simona De Silvestro, drove a mistake-free race moving up 10 spots from her starting position of 27th to finish 17th in today's GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. The 85-lap race was past the mid-way point before the first yellow flag of the day.

While De Silvestro was happy with the result, she would have liked to have done even better. "I guess P-17 is okay," she said, "I think it was all we could get. We're still getting passed like we're standing still on the straightaways, but, I think it was a good weekend. We kept our head in it during the race and toward the end the yellows starting coming out. That really helped us with our fuel mileage. It was a good race."

The Lotus HVM Racing team did their part with good pit stops and a race strategy that worked perfectly. Team engineers were forced into a very tight three-stop strategy due to the fact that we get a significantly lower fuel mileage in comparison to the other competitors.

Keith Wiggins, team owner, felt the team got the most out of the car today. The team did a good job," he said. "Simona drove a good solid race, so we were able to make the best of it. Our windows were tight on fuel, but we managed to keep it within the three, so that was good. It was a good result for the circumstances we had. We don't want to get too excited about 17th, but I think it was the best result we could get today with what we had."

The team hosted guests from Entergy, GE Hitachi and AREVA this weekend. Everyone had a great time and was excited with the final race results.

Team manager, Shane Seneviratne, was pleased with the team's work. "It was a good race," he said. "Simona drove well. The crew did very consistent pit work. There was a little bit of racing toward the end. Simona got to do some dicing, so I'm happy for the sponsors. We had a good result."

After the long yellow for the Bourdais / Newgarden crash, the field was separated so that cars on the lead lap were together and those that were one lap done were together allowing everyone a chance to race for position with the cars around them. De Silvestro was able to move past Ed Carpenter who was a position ahead of her, but who had not been running directly in front of her at the time of the yellow.

Tom Brown, team technical director, liked the league's decision. "She (De Silvestro) ran well," he said. "She maximized what was given to her. The guys did good stops; we've been working hard on that. We saw massive improvement this weekend. When they all bunched up it gave us a chance to race and we took it to them. I think we may have surprised some people. It was a good race."

The team now head to Baltimore for the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT which airs on NBC Sports Network, Sunday, September 2 at 2:30 pm ET.
Source: Press release

De Silvestro Qualifies 25th for GoPro Indy GP of Sonoma


Lotus HVM Racing driver Simona De Silvestro was hoping to have a good qualifying session today in order to have a chance of putting the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car a little further up on the starting grid for tomorrow's GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. Unfortunately, with the unapproved engine change it appears that the team will start last tomorrow.

Yesterday's practice was the first opportunity Simona had to experience the changes on the newly configured 2.385mile, 12 turn road course.

After that practice the Swiss driver was optimistic. "It was a good first practice," she said. "We haven't tested here so we're kind of getting everything going. Even myself, being out of the car for three weeks it feels a little bit strange in the beginning, but I think in the end we're okay. We're going to work on it tomorrow and try to put the lap a little more together and we'll see. I think we're in the mix, we're not super far off compared to the other guys, so we just have to keep picking at it a little bit and hopefully maybe we can get in the top 20 or something like that. That would be cool."

Today however was a different story. "Well, it's really disappointing," De Silvestro said. "I don't really know what to say. The changes we made are good, so we'll just keep plugging away. I think we have a good car for tomorrow. We'll continue to do our best as a team and hopefully get a good result."

Tom Brown, the team's technical director, was disappointed as well with the qualifying result. "Once again we got as much out of the car as we could; as much out of Simona as we could," he said. "It's a tough track, a challenging track. We enjoy it here. I think it'll be an interesting race, but qualifying... we always just have to accept what we get in qualifying."

The team has a group of sponsors from Entergy and GE Hitachi at the track this weekend, many of whom are attending their first race. While they would have loved seeing Simona have a better qualifying, they're still enjoying the unique experience the track has to offer.

Shane Seneviratne, the team's manager, is happy to have the large contingent of guests to entertain. "We're excited," he said. "We have a lot of sponsors here at the race track this weekend. I want to extend our gratitude for their continued support and patience with us. We're doing our best; looking forward to a good race. We'll be starting in the back of the field with the engine penalty, but it's a long race and anything could happen. Hopefully we can put on a good show for our sponsors that are here."
Source: Press release

De Silvestro Persevering, Looking For Positives


Simona de Silvestro and her HVM Racing team have had a year to forget, but she continues to press on despite being saddled with a down-on-power (Editor's addition: "gas-guzzling) engine.

One year ago, Swiss driver Simona de Silvestro was denied entry to the USA for the Sonoma race by customs agents, forcing her HVM Racing team to draft in Simon Pagenaud at the last minute to pilot the No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy-sponsored entry.

Based on how her 2012 season with Lotus power has gone, being barred from the States would have been a blessing in disguise, but for the talented 23-year-old, persevering through another uncompetitive weekend has become a familiar and frustrating routine.

"I think any season you go racing you want to be the fastest out there," she told SPEED.com. "You know, it almost seems like my IndyCar experiences are going from good to worse right now.

"I think the toughest part is just looking where other drivers are when you know you were kind of beating them or you were exactly with them a year ago."

Now in her third season with the respected HVM operation, de Silvestro and team owner Keith Wiggins had hoped their Lotus engines would offer some semblance of competitiveness, but with the manufacturer's late start on its engine, a general lack of testing and minimal funding supplied to its engine designers/builders at Engine Developments Limited, the team--and de Silvestro's presence--has been relegated to the tail end of the grid.

De Silvestro, who's earned the respect of drivers and team principals alike, hopes to get her career back on an upward swing as soon as possible.

At a stage in her IndyCar development where de Silvestro expected to be fighting for top 10s, she's had to put her expectations on hold until the team can switch to either Chevy or Honda power next season.

"Now we're just in the back of the field, and that's a little bit annoying..." she said with a wry smile. "But maybe I can still learn things from where we're at now and just keep working at it. But, for sure, we want to show where we really should be in the results--where this team belongs."

With no realistic chance of running in the top half of the field, de Silvestro continues to receive a lot of support from the rest of the IndyCar drivers who know what she and the team can deliver.

"I think everybody feels pretty bad for me, put it that way," she said. "I think in the last two years I've earned the respect from everybody and that's a really cool thing--a really cool achievement for me.

"It's just frustrating that we can't be mixing it up with them, but it just is what it is. I'm lucky to be in an IndyCar when there’s so many drivers who aren’t here. I'm going to take the positive out of everything I can."
Source: Press release

Lotus HVM Racing Finishes 23rd at Mid-Ohio


Things were looking up for the Lotus HVM Racing team this morning. The rain came and the driver of the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car made the most of it. Swiss driver Simona De Silvestro posted the fourth-fastest time (01:34.8087) on the wet surface and looked good for today's race. Unfortunately for her, not only did the track dry, it was a completely green-flag race for the second race in a row limiting strategy options for the team.

"It's a bit of the same story as the last race," team owner Keith Wiggins said. "Unfortunately it went green the whole way so that meant that we were pretty much forced into a full-fuel three-stop strategy as opposed to the two-stop strategy of the other manufacturers. That didn't really give us any options to do a strategy, so we ended up with what we had. Her first stint was pretty impressive. The lap times she did were in the 68's when we were on our own; the same as the leaders. But, there's not much else you can do."

"It's really disappointing," De Silvestro said. "We weren't able to use the strategy that we wanted because there weren't any yellows. It doesn't matter how hard I drive, without a yellow we can't get anywhere. We have low fuel mileage and we're down on power, so we're not competitive right now. The team is doing their best, but we're just not in a good situation."

Technical director Tom Brown was disappointed with the lack of strategy options. "Just another tough one with it going green all the way," he said. "We tried to pull some strategy, but we needed the yellows to pull it off. Strategy is one of the few tools we have in the bag and we can't use it. But, it is good to see green-flag racing all the way. Hopefully one of these days we'll get what we need." (Editor's Note: A Chevy or Honda engine? I wish!)

Shane Seneviratne looked for the bright spot as well. "The biggest positive - we finished the race," he said. "We have to figure out the situation here and try to sort out things to get some power behind Simona. We need to try and make something happen during the race. When the race goes green to green we are just stuck in one position and there is nothing we can do; there is no strategy, nothing we could do to improve. We were stuck in one spot. Glad at least reliability-wise we finished the race."

The team has a couple of weeks back in Indy before heading to Northern California for the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on August 26th. The race will air on NBC Sports Network at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Source: Press release

De Silvestro Qualifies 23 for Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio


Lotus HVM Racing driver Simona De Silvestro was in the first qualifying group today at the Honda Indy 200. De Silvestro had a one-day test at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course just prior to the Toronto race. The team had hoped the data gathered at the test would help with this weekend's performance. While the track conditions were vastly different, the team still had a good jump on their setup for the weekend. Unfortunately, the straightaway speed differential couldn't be overcome for today's qualifying.

"Qualifying was the same as how it's been going, which is not good because we're always starting in the back," De Silvestro said. "But, I think we have a strong race car. We worked really hard to make that happen. We'll see what happens tomorrow in the race. It's disappointing because everybody is working so hard and we can't really do anything right now."

Team sponsor AREVA and their guests were on hand to lend support for the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car. Guests met Simona after qualifying and offered their encouragement.

Team owner Keith Wiggins looked at the positive side of the day. "We were fastest through one sector and top five in two others of the track," he said, "so we'll take that as a positive and focus on the race. We have to take what we've got and do the best we can with it."

Technical director Tom Brown focuses as well on what the team has managed to accomplish. "Once again we maximized what was within our control," he said. "The car is good, we gapped well and Sim made the best of what she had. It's tough given the situation we are in but we always work to get the best out of everything. Tomorrow the forecast calls for a chance of rain. Let's hope it happens."

Regardless of the weather, the Lotus HVM Racing team will do their best with any opportunities given them. The team intends to use strategy and De Silvestro's aggressive driving style to move up through the field for a strong finish.

Be sure to tune in for tomorrow's Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio at 1:00 p.m. ET on ABC.
Source: Press release

Lotus IndyCar future uncertain beyond 2012


AUTOSPORT magazine reports this week that Lotus is likely to abandon its IndyCar engine program at the end of the current IZOD IndyCar Series season, despite being just one year into a five-year supply contract it entered into at the beginning of the series' new turbo formula.

The John Judd-built Lotus engine was a late arrival to the IndyCar field last winter, and faced further obstacles when the Malaysian-owned, British-based sports car manufacturer was sold, which resulted in a freeze on its accounts and strained relations with Lotus' partner teams in IndyCar.

By April, HVM Racing's entry, driven by Simona de Silvestro, was Lotus' sole representative on the IndyCar grid apart from Jean Alesi's quixotic Indianapolis 500-only run. Both Lotus-powered cars were quickly black-flagged on race day at Indy for being unable to run at competitive pace, and de Silvestro has regularly been at the back of the field in subsequent races, despite an approved update program that upgraded the Lotus V6 starting at Toronto.

Lotus IndyCar project manager Olivier Picquenot told AUTOSPORT that "we are still committed to the end of the season," although he declined to be speculate about the future beyond that. "Our new owners [DRB-Hicom] will study every department at the end of the year – in motorsport, in production, and everything. It's very difficult to say if they will be committed for the next four years."

If Lotus does decide to end its program, it would have to negotiate an exit from its contract with IndyCar, whose CEO Randy Bernard said he has had no such conversations with Lotus officials to date. (Editor's note: Why wait for Lotus to act? They've pretty much proven their inablity to do so. It's clear, Simona is very competitive with a competitive car so it's not the driver nor the team. My question: Why doesn't IndyCar put the Lotus program to sleep NOW? It's an embarrasment! Hopefully, Honda and Chevy would welcome Simona to either of their stables and give her a chance to really compete, as she has in previous years. She deserves better!)

Picquenot said he expected that the final decision on the IndyCar program will be based on the level of progress Lotus is able to demonstrate over the remainder of the season in closing the performance gap to Chevrolet and Honda. He added, however, that there are no plans to expand beyond the current one-car program.

"There is no second car this year, for sure, he said. "You need to have the commitments – find a driver, find mechanics, and three or four races before the end of the season is too late. We will just concentrate on trying to serve HVM as best we can."
Source: www.racer.com/report-lotus-indycar-future-uncertain-beyond-2012/article/251991

Caution-free Race Highlights Challenges for Lotus HVM Racing


Race day at the Edmonton Indy dawned bright and sunny with literally not a cloud in the sky. Although Lotus HVM Racing driver Simona De Silvestro qualified the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy entry 23rd, she started 25th on the grid after incurring a 10-spot penalty for an unapproved engine change.

De Silvestro was fast all day in the corners and ran very good lap times throughout the race, but lacked the speed on the straightaways to make any significant gains during the race. The Swiss driver did pull off a nice pass of the #20 Fuzzy's Vodka car on lap 17, but relinquished the spot a few laps later when she came in for a green-flag pit stop. She ultimately finished 23rd in the caution-free race that lasted less than 1 hour 40 minutes and saw only five lead changes.

The lack of yellow flags didn't work in the team's favor. "It was kind of a weird day," De Silvestro said, "no yellows so we couldn't really get off strategy. We had to make one more stop than most everybody else because our fuel consumption is pretty bad. You know, it is what it is. We had a strong race car, but we're just not fast enough right now."

Keith Wiggins, team owner, agreed that the green-flag racing hurt the team's chances. "It was a good run for the team," he said. "Clearly our lap times in the race were competitive, but unfortunately the fuel mileage, the lack of top speed and the fact that there wasn't a single yellow in the race really hurt us. We had to do an extra stop and that just makes it tough. She (Simona) did a good race and the car was fast on the corners, so we just have to keep working on the other issues."

After suffering a mechanical failure in Toronto, team manager Shane Seneviratne was pleased that the team finished today's race. "It was good to finish the race," he said. "We had decent pace but there's still the same problem. We need to keep working on our engine to try and close the gap and make the races more interesting for us".

Lotus HVM Racing next goes to Lexington, Ohio for the Honda Indy 200 Mid-Ohio on August 5. The race will air on ABC at 1:00 p.m. ET
Source: Press release

Rain Comes Too Late to Help Lotus HVM Qualifying Effort


The rain came too late to help the Lotus HVM Racing team with qualifying. The #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car, while making progress, is still down on power compared to the other cars in the field and had hopes that the rain would prove the equalizer.

Unfortunately for Swiss driver Simona De Silvestro, her group's session was dry. "Well," she said, "it's really disappointing. We were hoping the rain would come a little earlier and help us out. The car is really good, but we're still down on power and that hurts here because of the long straightaways. Rain would have been good. I think we have a good car for the race. We'll just have to wait and see what the weather does. Hopefully we'll have a good finish."

The team qualified 23rd, but will likely start at the back of the field since they will incur a ten-spot penalty for an unapproved engine change prior to the start of the event. Lotus provided the team with a new updated engine, which members of the crew installed on Wednesday.

Team owner, Keith Wiggins, is hopeful that the new engine will lessen the gap to the other teams. "We continue to struggle, but we're still working on improvements. We're not giving up on it. We're still making small progress, but obviously the others are as well. I think the gap is less, but we still need more."

With three long straights on the 2.224-mile track and only a 10 percent chance of rain tomorrow, it looks like the team will have to focus on strategy and maximizing the setup on the car as the under-powered engine will continue to be an issue.

Tom Brown, the team's technical director, isn't counting on help from the weather. "We're working hard to maximize and get everything we can out of the car," he said. "The guys timed the qualifying to perfection. We had a good run, but three long straights here make it hard with some of the issues we have; top-line speed and whatever. We actually could do well. We ran well and gave it the best we could."

The Edmonton Indy airs tomorrow, Sunday, July 22 on NBC Sports at 2:45 p.m. ET.
Source: Press release

Lotus IndyCar upgrade a small step in the right direction


When the Izod IndyCar Series gave Lotus the OK to upgrade its engine, the HVM Racing team and driver Simona De Silvestro had a glimmer of hope.

But in Toronto on the weekend of July 7, the first race with the improvements, De Silvestro faded early with an engine failure. It was like rubbing salt in an old wound.

“The first analysis on the data seems to show that the engine failure was not related to the new engine spec. It might be an unfortunate reliability issue, which has never happened before,” said Vincent Pereme, motorsport engine manager for Lotus Racing.

The 23-year-old Swiss-born driver, already starting the race with a 10-place grid penalty for the engine upgrade, radioed her crew on lap eight. “The engine's not pulling,” she said. “I have no power.”

“I'm pretty disappointed,” said De Silvestro after the race. “Something happened with the engine. We were hoping for a good finish, trying to stay out of trouble. It's hard to say right now; we just did a couple of laps. We'll have to see what happened and go to Edmonton [for the July 22 race] and try to do better.”

To confuse matters further, De Silvestro never got to feel the thrill of the upgrade because of IndyCar's re-implementation of push-to-pass. Engine power was reduced from 1.55 bar to 1.5 bar when running without the push to pass. When a driver activates push to pass, an engine's output reverts to the original maximum horsepower. It's a relative horsepower increase not an incremental one because the manufacturers all agreed to keep the top horsepower unchanged, according to Pereme.

Before the race, De Silvestro had been cautiously optimistic. “It's hard to see how much horsepower we gained because now we're running at 1.5 instead of 1.55,” she said.

“That's why Simona didn't feel that much increase in power,” Pereme told Autoweek. On the other hand, “there is more torque,” he said. “She can feel it in drivability. Even some old customers [who no longer run Lotus engines] noticed it [on the track].”

However, De Silvestro remained realistic and honest.

“We're still a long ways away,” she said. “We're still 13 mph slower [on straightaways] compared to the fastest [cars] and 7 mph slower than the slowest Honda or Chevy. There's a still a lot of work. I think we made an improvement. The engine is definitely better than what we had. Hopefully we can come up with something new every weekend.”

Tom Brown, HVM's technical director, was also optimistic before the race. He told Autoweek, “We feel more power in the middle of the range and less lag. That gets her a better throttle response. A good gain. We hope to get another upgrade for Edmonton.”

The next round of engine upgrades and, the team hopes, a solution to the Toronto engine problem should be ready by then. And with that upgrade, De Silvestro will lose 10 spots on the grid again.

She laughed off the prospect.

“I'd rather have the penalties and have the improvements than just running around . . . and just kind of being stuck there.”
Source: www.autoweek.com/article/20120713/INDYCAR/120719923

 

De Silvestro Out Early With a Mechanical Issue


It wasn't an easy day for the Lotus HVM Racing #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car at today's Honda Indy Toronto. A day that dawned bright and sunny and full of hope, quickly took a turn for the worse when De Silvestro hit a tire that was knocked into the racing line by Sebastian Bourdais. De Silvestro hit the wall hard and sustained considerable damage to the car.

The team worked frantically, managing to repair the car just as the grid was being set. De Silvestro started 25th after being assessed a 10-spot penalty for the unapproved engine change that brought her a bit more power this weekend. On lap 8 she reported an issue with power and was brought into the pit on lap 9. The team tried to work on the car in the pit, but eventually took the car back to the garage to try more repairs. They were unable to complete the necessary repairs in time to rejoin the race.

"I'm pretty disappointed," De Silvestro said. "Something happened with the engine. We were hoping for a good finish, trying to stay out of trouble. It's hard to say right now, we just did a couple of laps. We'll have to see what happened and go to Edmonton and try to do better."

Team owner, Keith Wiggins was equally displeased with the early exit. "It's just very disappointing," he said. "After the incident this morning in which we sustained a lot of damage, the guys did a fantastic job to put it (the car) all back together and have it ready. Then to have an engine issue is bitterly disappointing and we have to do something about it."

Tom Brown, technical director for Lotus HVM Racing summed up the weekend. "It was a tough weekend," he said. "We had a little bit of help with the engine that got us headed somewhat in the right direction, but we obviously need quite a bit more. The guys worked real hard and never gave up. I'm very proud of them. We had an unfortunate incident this morning where we hit a tire on track and now it looks like we've got an engine issue that's put us out of the race. I guess we'll look forward to Edmonton."

The team next travels to Edmonton, AB on July 22nd. The race will air on NBC Sports Network at 2:45 p.m. (ET).
Source: Press release

De Silvestro Qualifies 21st at Honda Indy Toronto


With top-10 finishes in her previous two starts at this track, a new updated engine, and strong practice sessions all weekend, Lotus HVM Racing driver Simona De Silvestro was poised for a strong qualifying session at the Honda Indy Toronto. Unfortunately, qualifying didn't go as well as she and the team had hoped.

On a mostly wet track, De Silvestro had the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car in the top-12 for the majority of this morning's practice before encountering some braking issues on the final two laps resulting in an 18th place finish in the session. With her pace on par with the rest of the field on the 1.75-mile street course, thanks in part to the new engine updates, De Silvestro was poised for potentially her best qualifying of the season.

A couple of factors contributed to the disappointing session. The first factor - black tires were used for all practice sessions and car setup, while red tires were used for qualifying. The difference in how the car handled was slight, but noticeable.

"I'm pretty disappointed," De Silvestro said. "We have a pretty strong race car; it just didn't come to us on reds. I don't know, we'll see what we've got tomorrow. We have a good race-pace, so hopefully we can go do some good things tomorrow."

The second factor was traffic. "We didn't get a clear lap which is on us," Keith Wiggins, team owner, said. "We need to make sure we don't get held up. We've made improvements. There've been improvements to the engine and we've made progress. Unfortunately, it wasn't reflected in qualifying. I just don't think we got the best out of the car for this session."

Team Manager Shane Seneviratne felt the result could have been better. "It was a disappointing qualifying session," he said. "We ran well all weekend. We had good practice sessions, but we just didn't put it together for the qualifying group. We have a good race car, so we're looking forward to the race."

The team faces a 10-spot penalty for an unapproved engine change. The starting grid will be announced after tomorrow's warm-up session. The 85-lap Honda Indy Toronto airs live on ABC tomorrow, Sunday, July 8 at 12:30 p.m. (ET).
Source: Press release

De Silvestro's car running the first of engine updates


Simona de Silvestro has taken the glass-is-half-full approach to the season in regards to the first-year Lotus engine platform at HVM Racing. Really, what else can the third-year IZOD IndyCar Series driver do?

The 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engine designed and produced by Engine Developments Ltd. in England for Lotus has been down on power through the first half of the season, which has decidedly impacted the results of de Silvestro’s No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car.

“On one side, I’m lucky to be part of an engine development. Not many drivers get to do that, so it’s a good learning process and I’ve learned a lot this year,” de Silvestro said. “I’m going to take pretty much every possibility out of it to learn from it, and that is going to make me better in the future.

“As a race car driver, you want to be winning races and running up front, so every race weekend you try to do the best you can. That’s what racing is all about. You can’t always have the best equipment out there, and you just have to shine with what you have right now.”

For the Honda Indy Toronto, the team received its first engine update, pursuant to INDYCAR engine technical regulations. At mid-season and again at the end of the year, manufacturers whose engines are statistically more than 2½ percent deficient in power may, at the discretion of INDYCAR, make improvements to components to be homologated. Alterations are intended to put the engine within the 2½ percent window, and they will be introduced on only new engines being sent to the track.

Subsequent modifications are scheduled to be incorporated for the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma (Aug. 26-28) and the Grand Prix of Baltimore (Sept. 2-4).

The No. 78 car will receive a 10-grid spot penalty for the 85-lap Honda Indy Toronto on the 1.75-mile, 11-turn Exhibition Place circuit for the team changing out the engine before it reached its mileage limit defined in Rule 15.5.1.

Because the team fitted its sixth engine of the season for the Toronto race (the engine service agreement is five), in violation of Rule 15.1.4, it will receive a 10-grid spot penalty at the Edmonton Indy in two weeks.

"It’s kind of hard to say what everybody else did, but I think we improved the car," said de Silvestro, who was 20th quick overall through two practice sessions (.8685 of a second behind front-runner Dario Franchitti). "We made some big progress so I’m pretty happy about that. We’ll have to see in qualifying. That’s when we’ll know where we’re at.

“Lotus has worked really hard the last month to get the updates (and) we just need to keep focusing on what we are doing. It’s been frustrating so far this season because we had a strong race car at Detroit and again at Iowa, but with less power it was so hard for us to pass. We seem to be able to keep a good pace, but when it’s time to pass we don’t have the speed to do it.”

The updated engine wasn’t quite ready to install in the No. 78 car for a July 2 test at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course as planned, so de Silvestro worked on a new shifting strategy.

“We will bring in as much performance as we can, with reduced fuel consumption which is as important, and which means that we will accept the 10-spot grid penalty for any upgrade," Lotus director of motorsports Claudio Berro said.
Source: www.indycar.com/News/2012/07-July/7-6-De-Silvestro-gets-new-lease

De Silvestro Pushes Hard for 14th Place Finish at Iowa Corn Indy 250


Iowa's long draught came to an end today as a severe thunderstorm hit the Iowa Speedway around 5:45 p.m., pushing back the start of the Iowa Corn Indy 250 to around 9:45 p.m. today. The rain and the late start didn't put a damper on the hopes of the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HVM Racing team. The team has struggled on ovals this season and was eager to get their first oval finish of the season. Not only did they finish, they had their second-best finish of the season.

The race saw some attrition, starting with a blown engine by pole-sitter, Dario Franchitti on the warm up lap. Cars continued to struggle throughout the evening, but Lotus HVM Racing driver Simona De Silvestro pushed hard, drove a consistent race and stayed out of trouble.

De Silvestro was happy with the final result. "I'm pretty happy with 14th", she said, "that's our second best finish this year, and it was on an oval. I think there was a lot of survival going on out there, but I think we had a really strong race car. It was really comfortable out there so I could stay in the tow of other people. A big thanks to the team, they kept working really hard every time. Even when we know it's going to be a tough weekend we always hope for the best. I think today we had a pretty good result at the end. Hopefully we'll get some improvements for the road courses and start sneaking into the top-ten. "

Team owner Keith Wiggins was pleased with the outcome as well. "I think we should be quite happy," he said. "Bottom line is she did a great race. She got some more confidence and practice on the oval. Obviously we were down on power so she suffered a bit in traffic, but with the momentum when she was up to speed and we were doing the same lap times as most of the field, which is really good. I'm happy for the team and with the car setup and happy for Simona. We've just got to get a few more horses."

Shane Seneviratne, team manager, is already looking ahead. "I'm glad we finished the race," he said. "Simona did a great job. Everything held up. Hats off to the crew on the pit stops. We're looking forward to Toronto."

The team heads back to Indianapolis tomorrow looking forward to next weekend at home. The team travels next to Toronto for the Honda Indy Toronto on July 8th at 1:00 p.m. ET. The race will air on ABC.
Source: E-Mail

De Silvestro to Start 22nd at Iowa Corn Indy 250


Iowa Speedway saw a change in the qualification format tonight with IZOD IndyCar drivers participating in a three heat race format rather than the traditional single-car qualification process. The new format benefited Lotus HVM driver Simona de Silvestro as her pass of Simon Pagenaud netted her two spots on the starting grid instead of just one.

It was a bit confusing, but in the end worked out well for the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car. Here's a breakdown of how it worked... Teams were split into three groups based on their performance in today's second practice session. Race one consisted of the cars that finished the practice session in an even-numbered spot starting with the 10th-quickest practice time. Race two consisted of the cars that finished the practice session in an odd-numbered spot starting with the 9th-quickest practice time. The third and final race consisted of the top-eight finishers in the practice session. The third race determined the starting position of the first eight starters with the cars in race one filling the even-numbered spots from 10th down and the cars in race two filling the odd-numbered spots from 9th down.

By finishing one spot ahead of Pagenaud, De Silvestro made the jump to 23rd on the grid with the slowest car from the group one qualifiers, Takuma Sato, starting 24th. E.J. Viso had an unauthorized engine change and incurred a 10-spot penalty which moved him back behind Sato, moving both De Silvestro and Sato up one spot to 22nd and 23rd respectively.

Team owner Keith Wiggins spoke about the new format. "Well, it was an interesting format," he said. "Let's hope that the fans appreciated it. For us, we picked up a couple of spots so we'll take that and obviously focus on the main race tomorrow."

De Silvestro was pleased with the results. "Today was a big learning curve," she said. "We've never been here with this car; we didn't test here, so we just threw some things at it this morning and it was alright; we worked through it. We learned a lot in the first session, improved it in the second session and I think even in the third session we went a bit quicker, so those are really good things. If we keep progressing like this it really shows that we're a pretty strong team and can improve every session out there."

Shane Seneviratne, team manager, agreed with Wiggins about the heat race qualifying. "Interesting format," he said. "I think it worked out better for us. We gained a couple of positions so it looks like we'll be starting 23rd. Simona did a good job. She gave us a good indication for the race. We just need to take advantage of it and set up a good race car.

What does De Silvestro think about the team's chances tomorrow? "I think we have a good car," she said. "We're hoping that tomorrow some people will fall off a little bit like in Milwaukee and that's going to play in our favor. You know if we have a solid car for a full stint, so we'll see. We're just working at it, progressing. I don't think we'll be able to make real passes at real speed, but if people are going to struggle that's where our chance is going to come. We're really going to be ready when that chance comes."

The Iowa Corn Indy 250 airs tomorrow night under the lights on NBC Sports at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 9:00 p.m. local time.
Source: E-mail

Brush with the Wall Ends Milwaukee IndyFest for Lotus HVM Racing


After a lengthy rain delay, the Milwaukee IndyFest started well for Simona De Silvestro and the Lotus HVM Racing team. The #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car started 23rd on the grid and had some over-steer issues early on. De Silvestro made some adjustments in the car and settled into a good race pace.

De Silvestro was running 22nd when she entered the pits on lap 59. The team made tire and wing adjustments before re-entering the track. Just 8 laps later De Silvestro got into the marbles and brushed the wall in turn 3. De Silvestro was taken to the infield care center where she was examined and released.

As she left the care center she had this to say, "I just made a mistake. TK (Tony Kanaan) passed me and Oriol (Servia) tried to tuck behind him, and I just got in the marbles. It's just unfortunate. Sometimes you make mistakes; that's what happens."

The team was hopeful that the damage was minor and could be repaired, but unfortunately once the car was returned to the garage it was determined that there wasn't enough time to make repairs and return to the race.

De Silvestro felt bad for the team. "It's pretty unfortunate," she said. "I made a bit of a mistake and ended up in the marbles and put an end to our day. It's a shame because I think we had a pretty good race car. I want to thank the team. I'm really sorry to have put them in this situation. It would have been nice to have finished the race and learn. But, I guess I learned a lot because I made a mistake that I'm not going to do again next time."

With the changes De Silvestro and the team made, the car was running at a strong pace for what looked to be a good finish. While not happy with the end result, Team Owner Keith Wiggins was happy with the pace. "That was a shame," he said, "because once we settled in the pace was actually quite respectable compared to certainly the middle of the pack and even some of the front runners. It looked like going into our second stint that we'd have a decent result. It's always hard when you've got lots of traffic around you."

Shane Seneviratne, team manager, was equally happy with the way the race was going before the contact in turn 3. "It looked like it was going to turn out to be a good race," he said. "Simona had good pace. Her car was a little over-steering in the beginning, but she made some adjustments in the car giving her a good car. At the first pit stop we made a few more adjustments. She was running a good pace, but unfortunately we got caught out when Kanaan went by us; we got into the grey and she brushed the wall."

The team now heads to Newton, Iowa for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 next Saturday, June 23. The race will air on NBC Sports Network at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
Source: Press release

De Silvestro to Start 23rd at Milwaukee IndyFest


IZOD IndyCar driver Simona De Silvestro challenged the back of the field today at the Milwaukee Mile during qualification for tomorrow's Milwaukee IndyFest. The Swiss pilot of the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car was less than a five-tenths of a second behind Charlie Kimball who qualified 21st and even closer to Oriol Servia's and Ed Carpenter's qualifying times.

The team has struggled all season with horsepower issues and is extremely excited to be gaining ground on the other engine manufacturers. HVM Racing is the lone remaining team running the Lotus engine and has been at a disadvantage early on due to the manufacturer's late arrival to the series. De Silvestro and the team have managed to keep competitive on road and street courses, but have had difficulties staying competitive on ovals.

De Silvestro was pleased with today's result. "I'm pretty happy to have out-qualified someone," she said. "I think we have a really good race car. We worked a lot and I think it's pretty impressive because we didn't come here and test. So I'm happy about that. We're just working on a good basic for tomorrow. Maybe we can get off-strategy a little bit so we can move forward and then I think we can run there. I don't think we'll be able to pass anyone, but I think we can definitely run with people and stay with people, so that's the important thing."

Today's performance offers De Silvestro, the team, the manufacturer and the sponsors a glimpse of a more competitive second half of the season.

Tom Brown, Lotus HVM Racing's technical director was proud of the effort given by the entire team. "I'm very, very impressed with Sim and the guys for putting this car together the way they did and engineering it," he said. "No testing, just turning up and spending an hour, hour and a half, and putting it as close as we did to some of these guys ahead of us. Given our situation, where we are, we're doing a heck of a job."

Team Manager Shane Seneviratne summed up the day. "We had a really good car," he said. "Our lap times are very close. With the deficiency we have with the horsepower I think the team is quite pleased to be competitive."

Tomorrow's Milwaukee IndyFest airs on ABC with coverage starting at noon Eastern.
Source: Press release

An Early Night for Simona at Texas Motor Speedway


After strong practice and qualifying runs, Lotus HVM Racing suffers another setback at the Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway. The team came to Texas full of hopes with an updated exhaust system that offered a promise of more speed and competitiveness. Unfortunately, due to a sudden fuel pressure issue, the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car was unable to start the race.

De Silvestro was not happy to be sidelined without turning a single lap. "We have one update finally and then something like this happens, which is annoying" she said. "But that's kind of how the whole season has been going with our program. The guys are working their butts off and we're trying to make things happen, but we just don't have the pieces all put together right now."

The team, which has struggled all season, was hoping that the pieces were going to start falling into place beginning with the updates brought for this race. Unfortunately, things did not turn out that way.

Keith Wiggins, team owner, was not pleased. "I'd say that disappointing is an understatement," he said; "devastating is more accurate. I don't think we've ever not started a race before. But, we had a problem with the engine; we couldn't get fuel pressure, so we just have to lick our wounds and move on."

Team manager, Shane Seneviratne was equally unhappy with the day's turn of events. "I feel bad for the team," he said. "We had a fuel pressure problem that took us out of the race. We didn't even get to do a single lap. We were running well in practice and qualifying; we were closing the gap. Now we just have to look forward to Milwaukee."

Lotus HVM Racing and the IZOD IndyCar Series next head to the legendary Milwaukee Mile for a second consecutive Saturday race. The Milwaukee IndyFest airs on ABC, Saturday, June 16 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

Photos from the weekend can be found at: www.flickr.com/photos/75530607@N07/sets/72157630028542459/
Source: Press release

Best Finish of the Season for Lotus HVM Racing


Starting at the back of the field, due to an engine change penalty, the Lotus HVM #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car and driver Simona De Silvestro had their work cut out for them at today's Detroit Chevrolet Belle Isle Grand Prix.

After struggling with engine issues for the first five races of the season, today's finish of 13th was a welcome outcome for the team. De Silvestro drove a strong consistent race, finishing 12 spots higher than her starting position.

"I think we can be pretty happy because we finished the race," De Silvestro said, "and the guys worked really hard the whole weekend to get the car turned around. We had a really strong race car; we just have to work on the engine side. It's still not where we want it to be. I hope we'll get some updates for the next couple of races. I think if we were where the other engines are we'd be running in the top 10 easily and maybe even going for top fives. That's the frustrating part of it, but we're going to keep working hard at it."

Strategy and good driving were the keys to the team's great finish. The team engineers called for an early pit stop on lap 11 setting the stage for De Silvestro's race forward. De Silvestro ran as high as 11th and was running 13th when the team completed their second pit stop of the day on lap 37.

De Silvestro was running 16th when the race was red flagged on lap 45 due to issues with the track. After a lengthy delay, the race resumed around 6:45 p.m. On-track incidents brought out a couple of yellow flags in the final 15 laps giving De Silvestro the opportunity to move back up to 13th before the race was called on lap 60.

Team owner, Keith Wiggins was pleased with the team's performance. "It was hard work for a 13th place finish," he said, "but on the good side, the crew did a really good job on the strategy even though we had less fuel consumption than the other guys. Simona drove a really great intelligent race. The reliability was better so that's a step forward and if we can get a bit more horsepower then we'll be looking good."

Shane Seneviratne, team manager was excited about the final result. "Finally we got a good race under our belt," he said. "Simona did a great job, the crew did a great job and we had a really good car. Lotus has stepped up a little bit, so thanks to everyone involved. We're looking forward to moving this program forward."

Lotus HVM Racing heads to Texas next weekend to tackle the second oval and first night race of the season. The race will air on NBC Sports Network Saturday, June 9 at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Source: Press release

Lotus HVM Racing Exits Indy 500 Earlier Than Hoped


Lotus HVM Racing and the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy IZOD IndyCar went into today's Indianapolis 500 hoping to run a trouble-free, consistent pace while staying within the league mandated 105 percent of the fastest car on track with a goal of finishing the race. Unfortunately, the race pace was somewhat faster than anticipated and driver Simona De Silvestro found herself being black-flagged early in the day.

"I'm pretty disappointed to get black-flagged after only a few laps," the Swiss driver said. "We were trying to keep up pace, but unfortunately right now we don't have the pace, so now we have to work hard to get to the pace that we need. It's a disappointment because the team worked so hard all month and when you can't fight for anything it's really, really tough. So, we just have to kind of be patient with it and we have to work even harder to mask a little bit the lack of speed we have right now."

The team had over 500 guests for the month, with over 150 of them here today to watch De Silvestro and the team compete. De Silvestro met with guests from Entergy, AREVA, Rev1, TDS, NEI, Enercon and WTS this morning explaining race strategy, signing autographs and posing for photos. While disappointed that the day ended so early, everyone was excited to have had the opportunity to experience the excitement of the day.

Team owner Keith Wiggins had hopes for a longer outing as well. "I expected us to get up to speed a little bit better in the beginning and we didn't so we fell outside their rule," he said. "On the other hand I suspect it was more planned than we knew. We hadn't even been lapped and we weren't in anyone's way. They made a decision and that was that."

"It was disappointing in many ways," Tom Brown, Lotus HVM Racing technical director said. "The car was clearly good. We knew it was good. We knew Simona was on her game. We have issues which we have to resolve and those issues will have to be resolved pretty quickly to get us back and be competitive where we should be."

With the early exit, the team must now look forward to next week's Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.

"Obviously very disappointing; we were hoping to race for a bit longer," said team manager Shane Seneviratne. "All we can do now is look forward to Detroit. We all know where we stand with our power situation so if we could get a good result out of Detroit that will highlight how good the team is and how good Simona is. We're looking forward to putting the car in the middle of the pack in Detroit."

The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix airs on ABC June 3, 2012 at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Source: Press release

AREVA Adds Support to Nuclear Clean Air Energy IndyCar Campaign


Lotus HVM Racing welcomes nuclear energy giant AREVA as a sponsor of the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy IndyCar. AREVA - ranked first in the global nuclear energy industry - supported last year's inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix and is pleased to extend their participation with the program as it continues to successfully communicate 'Nuclear Clean Air Energy'.

AREVA joins Entergy as supporters on the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy IndyCar race team driven by Swiss driver Simona De Silvestro for the Indy500 as well as the remainder of the 2012 season.

"AREVA, the global leader in clean energy production, is once again pleased to partner with the Nuclear Clean Air Energy team. By joining with Simona and the team, we have another channel to deliver the message of nuclear energy as a safe, clean and reliable form of electricity production," stated Mike Rencheck, chief operating officer, AREVA, Inc.

De Silvestro is a great supporter of nuclear and clean energy. "I'm super excited to have AREVA on board with us on the Nuclear Clean Air Energy car," she said. "It's good to have a partnership with AREVA. I'm really proud to be driving on behalf of nuclear energy. It's nice that all of these companies in the nuclear business are coming together to get the message out about Nuclear Clean Air Energy."

John Herron, Entergy Nuclear CEO, said, "We're pleased AREVA joins us as a valued partner in our Nuclear Clean Air Energy national education initiative as we team up with Simona and the Lotus HVM racing team to broaden the reach of our nuclear science message and educate people in the United States about the safe and clean benefits of nuclear power."

AREVA and their guests will be on-hand at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 27, 2012 to watch the 96th running of the world's most prestigious auto race. The Indy 500 will air on ABC beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET.
Source: Press Release

Lotus HVM Racing Announces Nuclear Energy Institute Sponsorship


Lotus HVM Racing and the Nuclear Clean Air Energy sponsor group are announcing today that the Nuclear Energy Institute has joined the educational campaign that utilizes IZOD IndyCar driver Simona De Silvestro effective immediately.

"The nuclear industry and IndyCar racing have much in common as they deal with highly sophisticated technologies for which safety is the highest priority. There is a natural synergy to both industries that lends itself to our partnership to promote awareness of the benefits of nuclear industry," said Scott Peterson, NEI senior vice president of communications.

"Both industries understand that it takes a team approach with each member checking and rechecking operating systems of the nuclear plant and an Indy car to make sure they're working at peak efficiency and reliability. Neither industry rests upon its laurels and is constantly looking to raise the bar on safety to ensure the maximum protection for those working in these fields and the public."

NEI kicks off its support at the Nuclear Energy Assembly, the annual nuclear industry conference and nuclear supplier expo, in Charlotte. This year's conference will feature the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy IndyCar and the campaign it supports.

"I'm very excited to have NEI on board with the Nuclear Clean Air Energy campaign," said Simona De Silvestro. "It's great to have all of these partners in the nuclear industry joining our program. I'm really happy to be part of the Nuclear Clean Air Energy campaign and to be able to bring education about nuclear to people. I'm proud to have been chosen to represent the industry with my #78 IZOD IndyCar."

John Herron, chief executive officer of Entergy Nuclear, is pleased to have NEI join the campaign. "Our partnership with NEI and the Lotus HVM racing team with driver Simona De Silvestro gives us an opportunity to educate people in this country that nuclear power is critical to provide the safe, clean, affordable and dependable baseload electricity for our country's increasing energy needs," he said. "I'm pleased that NEI is joining us in this exciting Nuclear Clean Air Energy outreach campaign."

De Silvestro will next drive the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy IndyCar at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 27. To watch the 96th running of the Indy 500, the world's most prestigious auto race, tune into ABC beginning at 11 a.m. ET.
Source: Press Release

Simona qualified 32nd for the 96th running of the Indy 500


Lotus HVM Racing's Simona De Silvestro qualified the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car today for this year's 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. De Silvestro was first in line when qualifying began at noon today thanks to the lucky draw of Twitter contest winner Jeff Wiedemann. Wiedemann was the second contest winner in two days to make an excellent qualifying draw for the team. Friday's draw saw Domingo Riego pick the third spot in line for the team.

The team didn't make an attempt in yesterday's first round of qualifying, but today De Silvestro drove a very strong and consistent four laps (all within two-tenths of each other). Average speed for the qualifying run was 214.393, which places her in 32nd position on the starting grid for next Sunday's 500-mile race.

(Editor's note: In IndyCar's rush to open up the series to more manufacturers, they clearly got ahead of themselves certifying Lotus. Not only are parts a difficulty, the engines just aren't competitive - note - two driver's were allowed to switch to Chevy's leaving only two Lotus entries in the field of 33 - both qualifying at the back of the pack, 12 mph for one, 16 mph back for the other. I really feel sorry for Simona de Silvestro and Formula 1 racer Jean Alesi. IndyCar was considering allowing those two drivers to race with a boost just to keep the race safe. The plan was rejected, as well it should be.)

De Silvestro is thrilled to be in the field of 33. "I'm really happy that we qualified. It was a good day for us. We found a bit of speed in the car and that's a good thing. I think I have a lot of work on my side finding how to best maneuver in traffic. My team's been working really hard and I'm glad I was able to come through for them. I've had a lot of support from everybody; from my team and from all the Nuclear Clean Air Energy sponsors. I'm just happy to be in the 500."

Shane Seneviratne, Lotus HVM Team Manager, was pleased with today's outcome. "It's been a bit of a struggle," he said, "but we made it into the field. I have to say Simona and the team made the best of the situation we were presented with and everyone worked really hard to get the car qualified. They deserve it. I also have to thank Lotus for their continued efforts. I'm looking forward to the race."

Tom Brown, the team's Technical Director, is proud of the team's efforts. "I have to thank this crew for sticking it out this week. It has been one of the toughest weeks we've ever had. The car itself has been really good and the guys didn't give up on anything. They came in every day and gave 110% and I'm proud of them. Really proud of them."

Keith Wiggins, Lotus HVM Team Owner, was honest in his assessment of the team's situation. "To be honest," he said, "we're happy to be in and under the circumstances we're grateful that there's only 33 cars. Right now we've got some work to do. We've just got to focus on the race and make sure that next year we come back with much improved power."

Sponsors and their guests will be on-hand at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 27, 2012 to cheer Simona and the team on. The 2012 Indy 500 will air on ABC beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET.
Source: Press release

Simona De Silvestro Announces Winner of Charity Helmet Design Contest


Twelve year-old Jason R. Steenberger II of Greenwood, IN and patient of the Burn Unit at Riley's Hospital for Children, was announced as winner of Simona De Silvestro's helmet design contest during Tuesday's Indy 500 Party. The helmet will be worn by De Silvestro, driver of Lotus HVM's #78 Nuclear Clean Energy Car, and later auctioned with all proceeds being donated to Riley Hospital's burn unit.

Steenberger's rendering was chosen from a number of imaginative drawings submitted by patients of the burn unit. The helmet, to be painted by Austin Polen of Polen Designs Inc. of Goodland, Indiana, uses Steenberger's winning creation as the main concept for his design. The helmet will make its on-track debut during Carb Day practice on May 25, 2012.

"I'm really excited to be doing this contest for the children's burn unit at Riley Hospital," Simona said. "I'd like to thank Bell for donating a helmet to the cause and also thank Austin for donating his time and creativity to the project. I feel that it's very important for me, as a burn survivor, to help these kids in any way I can. I'm really lucky to be able to use the resources that I have as a driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series to give back to the kids who've suffered burns like I did during a practice session at last year's Indy 500. It just makes me happy that I'm able help."

Contest winner, Jason Steenberger II was thrilled to have his design chosen by Simona. "I'm just so excited that my simple design was chosen. I never win anything like this and to have it picked is just so great. I also want to thank my dad for his help," the 12-year-old said.

Jason's dad, Jason R. Steenberger, is also excited about his son's winning design. "I am just so proud of Jason," he said. "He is very proud to have his design chosen. He and all the kids at Riley did a great job designing this helmet. I want to thank Simona and all the other drivers for their support of the children at Riley. From Jason, myself, and our entire family, we want to thank Simona for everything and wish her the best of luck in this year's Indianapolis 500."

De Silvestro's helmet design contest is the latest in a continuing effort by the driver to bring awareness and support for the important work being done by Riley Children's Hospital, the Children's Burn Foundation and other charities supporting child victims of burn tragedies around the nation. IZOD IndyCar Series community, sponsors and fans who choose to make a donation to the Children's Burn Foundation will have the chance to sign a banner that will be presented to the organization at the season finale in Fontana.

To make a donation online or find more information on the Children's Burn Foundation visit their website at: www.childburn.org
Source: Press release

IZOD IndyCar Driver Simona De Silvestro Hosts Burn Survivor at Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach


Simona De Silvestro and the Lotus HVM Racing team's return to Long Beach heralded the beginning of a new relationship with The Children's Burn Foundation of Sherman Oaks. Having scored her first Atlantic Championship Series win here, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is already a special place for the Swiss Driver and now even more so.

"I'm pretty excited to be back in Long Beach. It's a pretty fun place and has a lot of history to it. I won my first Atlantic race there, so that's pretty special. I'm really excited to have the Children's Burn Foundation with me at the race track this weekend. It's going to be fun for the kids to come out."

Having received 3rd degree burns on her hands as a result of her crash during practice last year at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Simona understands the physical and mental trauma associated with burn injuries. She has chosen to become an advocate for the Children's Burn Foundation, supporting their work with child burn survivors across the globe. Simona's goal is to raise awareness and assist in fundraising efforts through the use of her celebrity. She will serve as a role model for the children, demonstrating that it is possible to be successful after a burn

Simona hosted burn survivor Cydney and her family this afternoon at the team's transporter, showing her and her little brother around the car and explaining to them how her steering wheel works. Simona and Cydney shared the stories of their accidents with each other and spoke about how they've overcome their injuries. Simona presented Cydney with a couple of gifts and the two posed for photos.

De Silvestro presented the Children's Burn Foundation with a signed endplate that they will auction on their site and used this opportunity to announce a fundraising effort she is implementing for the foundation. The IndyCar community, sponsors and fans that choose to make a donation to the Children's Burn Foundation will have the chance to sign a banner that will be presented to the organization at the season finale in Fontana.

The Children's Burn Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support services for child burn survivors, ages 0-18 and their families, as well as burn prevention and fire safety education to thousands of children and caregivers in Southern California, nationally, and internationally. Their mission is to prevent the pain and trauma of burn injuries to children, and to heal and give children who have suffered severe burns the opportunity to reach their full potential, physically, psychologically and socially.

To make a donation online or find more information on the Children's Burn Foundation visit their website at: www.childburn.org
Source: Press release

Child Burn Survivors to Meet IZOD IndyCar Driver Simona De Silvestro at Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach


What: IZOD IndyCar driver Simona De Silvestro hosts special meet and greet with burn survivors from the Children's Burn Foundation

Where: Long Beach Grand Prix IZOD IndyCar Paddock HVM Team Transporter

When: Friday April 13, 2012 12:45 p.m. PT

Why: Having received 3rd degree burns on her hands as a result of her crash during practice last year at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Simona understands the physical and mental trauma associated with this injury. She has chosen to become an advocate for the Children's Burn Foundation, supporting their work with child burn survivors across the globe. Simona's goal is to raise awareness and assist in fundraising efforts through the use of her celebrity.

Who: IZOD IndyCar Driver Simona De Silvestro and The Children's Burn Foundation. The Children's Burn Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support services for child burn survivors, ages 0-18 and their families, as well as burn prevention and fire safety education to thousands of children and caregivers in Southern California, nationally, and internationally. Their mission is to prevent the pain and trauma of burn injuries to children, and to heal and give children who have suffered severe burns the opportunity to reach their full potential, physically, psychologically and socially. You can find out more information regarding the Children's Burn Foundation at their website: www.childburn.org.

For more information contact Trish Donovan from Lotus HVM Racing at 317-525-8653 or Carol Horvitz of The Children's Burn Foundation at 323-252-1144.
Source: Press release

Sir Speedy Monrovia Partners with Lotus HVM Racing


IndyCar teams are built on speed, technology and a solid reliance on business relationships. These principles go hand-in-hand with businesses across the globe, making the IZOD IndyCar Series a perfect partner and the reason why many large companies invest their marketing and sponsorship budgets in the series.

Small businesses also see the value of IndyCar and today Sir Speedy-Monrovia is proud to announce that it will be partnering with Lotus HVM Racing and Simona De Silvestro for the remainder of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar season. De Silvestro drives the Lotus powered No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car, which will be racing next Sunday, April 15, on the streets of Long Beach.

The Sir Speedy partnership pairs the locally owned franchise, which is nestled against the San Gabriel Mountains in the city of Monrovia, California, with Lotus HVM Racing and its third-year driver Simona De Silvestro. Sir Speedy-Monrovia becomes the team's Official Provider of Printing and Marketing Services. All of the team's printing, signage and marketing needs will be provided as part of this year's program.

"We are delighted to be able to partner with Lotus HVM Racing and Simona. Simona is a great ambassador for our company as we share the same qualities: speed, expertise in technology, teamwork and a persistent commitment to winning," states David Martinez, Sir Speedy Sales Manager.

Lotus HVM Racing owner Keith Wiggins welcomes the new partnership. "We are very happy to welcome Sir Speedy to our group of partners," he said. " Their support, with product and services of quality, reflects our own image and gives us another tool that we can utilize to enhance our brand and perception."

On Wednesday, April 11th, Simona will be appearing at the Sir Speedy store located at 411 West Maple Ave in Monrovia, CA from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. as part of the store's Open House. The public is welcome to attend the event and meet Simona as she signs autographs and meets her fans in preparation for the upcoming 2012 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Source: Press release

Difficult Day in Brazil for Lotus HVM Racing


Lotus HVM Racing had an early exit from today's Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle. The #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car was running well, having climbed to 16th place before driver Simona De Silvestro reported an issue with sixth gear. De Silvestro pitted and it was determined that she would be able to continue the race, provided she didn't attempt to use sixth gear. Unfortunately, only ten laps later, the car stalled on track and could not be restarted, thus ending the day for De Silvestro.

"It was difficult for sure," she said. "I think we ran pretty good in practice this morning and we were looking forward to having a good race. The guys on the team have been doing a great job and working really hard. I feel bad for them that we couldn't finish the race. Now we just have to go back and work hard to get everything working right for Indy."

With high hopes for a strong finish, team manager Shane Seneviratne was equally disappointed with the results. "It was a disappointing weekend. I feel bad for the crew and Simona, they worked real hard. Now we have to look forward to the Indy 500. We're going to prepare hard, it's a lot of work ahead. We'll try to do our best for Simona and our sponsors."

Echoing the sentiment was team owner, Keith Wiggins. "We're bitterly disappointed," he said. "We're just continuing to have engine control issues that result in failures and that's very, very disappointing. That's about all we can say, disappointing."

The team flies back to Indianapolis tonight and will be back at work preparing for the 2012 Indianapolis 500 as soon as the equipment arrives from Brazil. Lotus HVM racing will begin practicing at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 12, 2012.
Source: E-Mail

Lotus HVM Racing Ready for Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300


Lotus HVM Racing and the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car arrived in Sao Paulo, Brazil yesterday morning. Driver Simona De Silvestro has historically done well on this circuit and looks to use that knowledge to score her season best finish of the season. Having led laps here in her first race in 2010 as well as setting the fastest lap of the race in 2011, De Silvestro considers the 2.6-mile temporary street course as one of her favorite stops of the IZOD IndyCar season.

"I'm excited to be in Brazil this weekend", De Silvestro said. "I really enjoy the track. I think it suits my driving style a lot and since it's supposed to rain that should be good for us too. The team has been working really hard and I think we have a chance for a good result. It should be fun."

De Silvestro isn't the only one happy to be back in Brazil. "I'm definitely happy to be back in Brazil," said team owner Keith Wiggins. "It's one of my favorite places. We've had some good performances here and Simona certainly has had the pace here for the last couple of years. We're looking forward to being able to deliver that into a decent result as we continue to work on our project with our partners at Lotus."

Technical Director Tom Brown thinks De Silvestro has a good shot at a strong finish this weekend. "She drove a great race at Long Beach," he said. "We take that momentum, that excitement we had and even though we had an issue at the end and couldn't finish, she was quick where she needed to be quick. We had no practice and only 3 or 4 laps in qualifying but come to the race and she was right on it. We'll take that enthusiasm and drive into this race. She loves this place, so it'll be good."

Be sure to tune in when the 75-lap Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle airs live Sunday, April 29 at 11:00 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Network with qualifying coverage airing Saturday, April 28 at 6:00 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.
Source: Press release

Lotus HVM Racing Has Difficult Weekend at Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach


After the solid run at Barber, the Lotus HVM Racing team was confident that they would continue to improve at this weekend's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Unfortunately, that's not how it played out.

With a crash in practice on Friday morning and a wash-out of afternoon practice, driver Simona De Silvestro only recorded a handful of laps in the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car Friday. Things didn't improve on Saturday. A water pump issue kept the Swiss driver off track during morning practice and she was only able to finish three laps in qualifying before a different issue sidelined her.

Frustrated, but hopeful the team was still optimistic that they could put together a strong car for the race. It looked like they were right all the way up until lap 74 of the 85 lap race. The car was running well, De Silvestro was driving hard and the crew teamed up for three great pit stops, but, with only 11 laps to go the engine failed.

"I'm really disappointed," De Silvestro said. "It wasn't a fun weekend at all. We had issues in practice and qualifying and only ran like six laps total going into the race, so we were excited to be running such a great race. We had good pit stops and only 11 laps to go when we lost the engine, so it's really frustrating."

De Silvestro and her crew impressed guests from sponsors AREVA, Holtec and Entergy that were in attendance this weekend. She had moved up in track position and was poised to have a top 12 finish at the track where she scored her first Atlantic Championship series win.

"A very frustrating weekend considering we did three laps in the dry," said team owner Keith Wiggins. "We didn't really get any running in because of various issues, so to have the place we had in the race is a credit to the crew, we did good stops and had a really good strategy going. Clearly we had a 10th or 11th place. To get so far and then for the engine to give up with 11 laps to go is extremely disappointing because we really needed the points and she was driving a fantastic race. It was more frustrating because it looked like it was all going to come together in the end, but we'll have to move on."

Wiggins is echoed by team manager Shane Seneviratne. "It's was a pretty tough weekend from the start, but we recovered from it. We were having a great race and Simona did a good job driving. The crew did some awesome pit stops. It was unfortunate that we lost our motor. We just have to look forward to Brazil now."

The team heads back to Indy tonight to prepare for their next race in Sao Paulo, Brazil were De Silvestro has led laps before. The race will air NBC Sports on April 29, 2012.
Source: Press release

Lotus HVM Racing Better at Barber


Timing and scoring doesn't give you the true story of the highs and lows Lotus HVM Racing experienced at today's Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. With a disappointing 21st place start, driver Simona De Silvestro was aggressive from the start.

After losing a spot early, De Silvestro settled in and drove a strong race, making several passes on track to gain positions. At one point the Swiss driver had climbed up to 17th place.

"I'm pretty happy we finished the race. I think it's good for the team," De Silvestro said. "We had a pretty solid car actually. Tire run was really good; tires didn't fall off too much. The good thing is that we finished and we can go to Long Beach with what we learned from this. We had a couple of boo-boos and a bad timed yellow, which didn't help us, but I think we had a solid car and drove pretty well. We really just have to take the positive out of this weekend and go even better next weekend."

While those errors in the pushing the fuel window and then a yellow caution cost her, she never gave up. She pushed hard and passed Tony Kanaan with less than 10 laps to go for position. She was still gaining on the cars in front of her when the checkered flag dropped and would likely have moved past a couple of other cars if she'd only had a few more laps.

Team owner Keith Wiggins was disappointed with the final outcome feeling that the team missed a chance to finish well. "It's good to get to the end," he said, "but it's a bit disappointing not to do as well as what we could have. We didn't take advantage of what we had and the yellow went against us: we just missed some opportunities."

One of those missed opportunities was late in the race when the team pitted just prior to a yellow flag. Had they been able to stay out another lap, the day would have ended better. Unfortunately, De Silvestro was low on fuel and actually ran out just as she was entering pit lane for her third stop. Luckily, she made it to her pit box limiting her losses.

Team Manager Shane Seneviratne wants the team to learn from their mistakes and build on the progress made here at Barber. "First I'd like to congratulate Team Penske and Will Power for a great job," he said. "The IndyCar series has done a great job with the new car my hat's off to them. As a team I think we made some progress. We finished the race. I'd like to thank Lotus for the progress. We're just going to keep building from here on. I think we'll have a much better result in Long Beach."

While it wasn't the result hoped for, the team's guests from AREVA enjoyed their weekend at the track. Making progress throughout the weekend, the team expects to continue moving forward in two weeks when the IZOD IndyCar Series hits the streets of Long Beach.
Source: Press release via eMail

Lotus HVM Racing Disappointed At St. Pete


With high hopes going into today's Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HVM Racing #78 team suffered a setback when the car stalled on track early in the race. Unable to restart the car in pit lane, the team pushed the car to the garage, working frantically to fix the issue and get driver Simona De Silvestro back into the race. Unfortunately, they weren't able to get back out prior to the cut off of 15 laps to go.

After working so hard to get ready for the race, the disappointment was intense throughout the team, but especially for De Silvestro whose excitement level was high going into today's race. "I'm pretty disappointed with not finishing the race," she said. "We improved the car for the race and we were doing ok lap times. We just have to keep working hard for the next race and I think we'll get there."

Team Manger Shane Seneviratne, while dissatisfied with the result, looked at the positives the weekend offered the team and addressed the issue that ended their day early. "We've learned a lot," he said. "We haven't had much testing, so this whole race weekend was an opportunity to learn about the engine package. We made it through all the sessions without any problems. Unfortunately, we had an issue in the race that resulted in a loss of fuel and oil pressure. Now we just have to focus on the next race and try to do our best at Barber."

Echoing Seneviratne was Team Owner Keith Wiggins who said, "Obviously the main focus was to be reliable and build from there, so it's disappointing that we weren't able to finish the race. On a good note saw some other Lotus cars make some good progress. We have to build on that and keep working hard for the next race."

The team hosted guests from Nuclear Clean Air Energy sponsors Entergy, Areva, Holtec, WTS and Rev 1, as well as a large group from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Guests packed the stands behind the team's pit box cheering boisterously for De Silvestro and continued to enjoy the excitement of the race even after the Nuclear Clean Air Energy car was retired.
Source: eMail

Lotus HVM Racing Looking Forward


After a great practice Friday afternoon, the team experienced a bit of a setback today when the Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HVM Racing #78 driver Simona De Silvestro got stuck in traffic during qualifying. Unable to get a clean lap, De Silvestro will start tomorrow's Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the outside of row 11.

Clearly disappointed, De Silvestro said, "I think qualifying could have gone a little bit better. We struggled a bit with traffic, so we'll have a long race tomorrow starting from the back. But we'll keep fighting to go forward."

De Silvestro was the fastest of the Lotus engine teams in yesterday's practice and the team had high hopes for a good qualifying run and a good starting position on tomorrow's grid.

Team Manager Shane Seneviratne is still optimistic about tomorrow's race. "We didn't have the best qualifying session with the traffic, but I think we have a decent car to race with tomorrow. The team's done a great job. The engine side of things is picking up progress. We're looking forward to having a good race tomorrow.

While the team isn't starting as close to the front as they'd like, Team Owner Keith Wiggins summarized the situation nicely. "It's a work in progress. We didn't get the best out of the car in qualifying. We're still working with the car and engine and we didn't get our fastest lap. There are a number of areas where we just have to work and improve."
Source: email

de Silvestro roars into Baltimore


Simona de Silvestro gave downtown workers/shoppers/residents a snippet of what will be a new sound on Baltimore streets on Labor Day weekend as she lit up Light Street in the Nuclear Clean Air Energy car.

The Lotus HVM Racing driver and crew also did a pit stop demonstration after unveiling the green, white and yellow livery of the No. 78 car in front of the InterContinental Harbor Court Baltimore, a team partner that played host to the event.

De Silvestro drove to 12th on the challenging circuit in the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix and is looking forward to returning.

"The stands were full every day, the fans were great," she said. "And it was so cool, with the race course in the middle of the city, to leave your hotel at night to go to dinner and be actually walking on the race course. The whole experience here was a fun thing. I'm so glad we're back."
Source: indycar.com/news/show/55-izod-indycar-series/51177-notes-de-silvestro-roars-into-baltimore/


Lotus Shakedown & Testing a Success.


Lotus HVM Racing, the Lotus test team and Swiss driver Simona De Silvestro completed a successful shakedown of the new 2012 Lotus-powered Dallara DW12 on Thursday, before beginning more in-depth testing of the 2.2 liter, twin-turbo V6 engine on Friday at Palm Beach International Raceway in West Palm Beach, FL.

After two full days of testing over the weekend and turning 300+ incident free miles in West Palm Beach, the Lotus team packed up and moved to Sebring for additional testing on Monday and Tuesday. 870 miles were run over the combined sessions.

Driver Simona De Silvestro was extremely happy with her time in the new car. "I think it was really a good four days," she said. "We ran a lot of miles. We did a lot of laps. I've never spent so much time in a race car. We started tweaking on the race car just to see what it liked. It was a really positive test and to be part of the first laps on the Lotus engine... I learned so many things right there. These guys have been really open and showed me everything and we worked really well together which was really cool. I can't wait to get back in the car again."

De Silvestro isn't the only HVM Racing member that was happy with the results of the testing. "We're very satisfied with the way everything went," said team manager Vince Kremer. "I feel like we made good solid strides. Simona put some solid laps in and the engine ran flawlessly. We exceeded what our original parameters were and we're looking forward to the next test in a few days. I can't emphasize enough how well the collaboration with the three teams and the engine supplier went."

Lotus IndyCar Manager Olivier Picquenot was equally pleased with the initial testing. "This was the most successful test I have ever participated in," he said. "We achieved more than I expected. The quality of the engine is perfect. We're very pleased from a technical aspect on behalf of Lotus and Judd. I would like to thank Simona for her fantastic job during the 4 days. She was smiling all the time and was very good at giving feedback to the engineers to progress in our development. Hopefully the rest of the tests will be as successful."

As the first driver of the three team collaborative group (HVM Racing, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and Bryan Herta Autosport) working with Lotus to develop the new engine, Simona will have her next opportunity to drive the car again in February. Lotus test drivers Alex Tagliani and Oriol Servia will share driving responsibilities with Simona in the scheduled tests in February and March. Simona will be present to join her engineers and team members at the upcoming tests in Homestead and again in Sebring.
Source: eMail PR release from Lotus

De Silvestro's season review


If someone would’ve told me at the beginning of the 2011 season, as I was fighting for that podium spot with Tony Kanaan on the streets of St. Petersburg, how the rest of this season would unfold, I wouldn’t have believed them.

We really kicked it off in style this year. My Nuclear Clean Air Energy car was new and fast, and I was coming off a great rookie season. We raced strong at St. Pete and I had a career-best, fourth-place finish. I felt great about the direction my sophomore season was headed in.

Quick stats

Top 10s: 3
Top 5s: 1
Run at finish: 11
Best start: 13th (3 times)
Best finish: 4th (St. Pete)

After a second top-10 finish at Barber, we had a somewhat disappointing race at Long Beach, but I remember that it made me even more excited to go to Brazil. The race on the streets of Sao Paulo is one of my favorites. Maybe it’s because I lead laps there during my very first race in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Maybe it’s because I love driving in the rain. Whatever the reason, I couldn’t wait to get out there.

My excitement faded quickly after an early incident put me nine laps down. The rain ended everyone’s day early, but when I got back on track Monday morning, I ran the fastest lap of the race and was proud to take home that trophy. It wasn’t for a podium finish, but something I could take pride in nonetheless.

After Brazil, it was on to Indy! I was the reigning champion of the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year honors and I wanted to make this year even more special. I try not to relive what happened too much in my head, so let’s just say that the massive crash was something I hope never happens to me again. I’ll admit that I considered walking away from racing. The support I got from my family, team and sponsors was incredible – they told me that it was my decision. Ultimately, it came down to the fact that this is what I believe I was born to do. I’m a racecar driver and I don’t want to do anything else. So even though I was terrified, I got into that car and made that qualifying run… three times.

We didn’t have a great race at Indy, but I feel blessed to just be part of the experience. I’m one of only 33 people who can say they raced in the 100th anniversary of the Indy 500. That’s pretty special.

From that point on, it was me and my trusty sidekick, Pork Chop. We didn’t have the best start together – after Texas, the crash in qualifying at Milwaukee lead to a concussion. For the first time in my career, I didn’t feel physically able to drive and as a driver, it’s hard to admit that. I wanted to be tough and push through it, but I knew that wouldn’t be the right decision and could have consequences later on.

Not being medically cleared to drive at Iowa was tough, but I understand. In the long term, it was the best thing for everyone involved that I got back to being 100 percent. The whole experience was trying and I couldn’t wait to return to the road/street courses.

My excitement must’ve shown on the streets of Toronto and we brought home another top-10 finish. The next few races seemed to fly by – Edmonton, Mid-Ohio, New Hampshire – and then I thought I’d take a few days to go home and visit my family in Switzerland.

The plan was to fly back in time for the Sonoma race. Everything worked according to plan until I landed in Washington-Dulles and wasn’t allowed to enter the country! With all the proper paperwork and without being given a reason, I was sent back home to watch my team compete from halfway around the world. I was thankful that Simon Pagenaud was willing to step in and help us out. Although it was tough not being there, he did a great job.

My birthday is September 1st and as luck would have it, that happened to be the day I was granted access back into the U.S. I flew in just in time to enjoy the Baltimore race weekend. It was definitely one of my favorites this year. We had awesome hospitality from our partners (and friends) at the InterContinental Harbor Court Hotel and it felt like my “home” race because all of the folks from Entergy Nuclear and AREVA came out to cheer me on. I was leading for a brief time during that race and I really felt like I was back.

The trip to Japan was fun, as always. It probably won’t surprise anyone that I was glad we were driving the road course. The fans are awesome and I hope we go back there someday.

I went into the Kentucky race weekend with a simple goal of continuing to improve my confidence on the ovals. At the end of the second practice session, I was actually having a great time out there, and managed to put together a solid qualifying run. It made me realize how cool it is to drive for a diverse series. It allows drivers of different backgrounds to showcase the skills they already have and improve on the ones they need to.

Finally, it was off to Vegas for the IZOD IndyCar season finale. What started as a great celebration ended in a tragedy that none of us could’ve ever expected. We got to put on a great event Thursday night on the strip, followed by some fun appearances, all of which lead up to what was supposed to be an exciting finale to the 2011 season. As we got strapped into our cars, we wanted to put on a show for the fans.

In the aftermath of the Lap 11 accident, all of us – drivers, teams, officials and fans – have been looking for answers and mourning in our own separate ways. First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers are with Susie and the boys. Secondly, IndyCar has made it clear that safety is paramount and they’re working to answer our questions. As drivers, we understand that there’s risk involved with our sport. We have to be strong and involved in making it even safer.

As always, I want to say thanks to my team for a great season. I also want to express my sincere appreciation for my fans. During a very tough season, you continued to cheer me on and your support gave me strength. I look forward to a new start in 2012, a leveled playing field with the new car and another chance to connect with all of you. Have a fun and safe off-season. See you in St. Pete.
Source: indycar.com/news/show/55-izod-indycar-series/50944-de-silvestroand-39-s-season-review/

HVM Racing Kicks Off an Action-Packed Weekend in Las Vegas


Simona De Silvestro and her HVM Racing team have arrived in Las Vegas for the IZOD IndyCar Series World Championships. With any luck, the season finale will be the culmination of what has been a high-profile season for the team.

De Silvestro and the rest of the stars of the IZOD IndyCar Series arrived in Vegas on Wednesday to kick-off an entire weekend of events. Some of the highlights include concerts, parties, charity blackjack tournaments and unforgettable moments, like Thursday night's closing of the famed Las Vegas Boulevard for a few parade laps.

Fans were invited to experience the fun at the racetrack as well. On Thursday and Friday, the cars were on track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, preparing for Sunday's race. The first two practice sessions went well for HVM Racing, with De Silvestro finishing P3 on Thursday and running over 222 miles per hour both days. Even though they did not have a good qualifying run and will start 30th, De Silvestro is looking forward to an exciting season finale.

"I'm a little disappointed with the qualifying run, but I think the Nuclear Clean Air Energy car is really good in traffic," said the Swiss driver. "We have some work ahead of us as we try to advance positions but we've done it before and I'm confident in what we can do. The track is pretty fun - it should definitely be a good show for the fans to end the season."

The IZOD IndyCar World Championship at Las Vegas will take place on Sunday afternoon at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Pre-race activities will begin at 12 p.m. local time and the telecast of the 200-lap competition will be broadcast on ABC.

Simona’s Las Vegas Hide-and-Tweet


As Simona prepares for the IZOD IndyCar season finale race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, she decided to check out the area and get familiar with the attractions. She has four pairs of race tickets/paddock passes to give away to the people with the highest number of correct guesses as to which attractions she's visiting.

You can either tweet your answers to twitter.com/HVMracing or enter your guesses below as a comment. Entries will be accepted until 12 a.m. ET. and winners will be announced via twitter tomorrow (Wednesday, October 5).Good luck! (Editor's note: This email wasn't distributed until almost 3pm ET, Tuesday, October 4.) Here are Simona's clues:

  • "I’m about to enter the famous Las Vegas strip. This attraction was created in 1959 and cost only $4,000 to build and install."
  • "I’m watching more than a thousand spigots of water dance to music ranging from Pavarotti to Sinatra."
  • "I’m attending a show that features an international cast of acrobats, swimmers, divers & characters performing in, on and above water."
  • "I’m in downtown Vegas, checking out a free nightly show of more than 12.5 million lights and 550,000 watts of sound."
  • "I’m listening to an eclectic mix of live music at this legendary location that features a capacity of approximately 1,800 people."
  • "I’m enjoying a South Beach ambiance! This location that offers 2 saltwater pools, 8 individual pools, cabanas & VIP bungalows."
  • "Let the good times roll! I’m riding the attraction that lifts you 203 feet and drops you 144 feet."
  • "I’m excited to do some laps here with Pork Chop and the other drivers of the IZOD IndyCar Series on Thursday, October 13."
  • "I’m attending this critically-acclaimed show, known to put the entire audience in a state of 'bluephoria.'"
  • "I’m staring up at one of the Vegas attractions. At 1,149 feet, it stands twice the height of any other building in the city."

 

Day Ends Early for HVM Racing at Kentucky Speedway


Simona De Silvestro and her HVM Racing crew had a positive outlook going into Sunday’s race at the Kentucky Speedway. Unfortunately, a series of issues ended the day early.

Throughout the race weekend, the Nuclear Clean Air Energy team worked hard to improve the car with each practice session. De Silvestro knew she was dialed in when she went out to qualify on Saturday afternoon, and put the car in P13 to start the race.

The first half of the Kentucky Indy 300 was fairly uneventful for De Silvestro and most of the field. The team planned to pit around lap 140, but brought the car in a few laps early due to a lack of fuel pressure. On restarting the car, as De Silvestro left the pits, with an overheated clutch, the car grabbed and turned her into the inside pit lane wall. After repairs, she was able to go back out for an additional few laps before the burnt clutch ended the team’s day early, putting them in P25.

“It’s obviously not the way I wanted to end this race,” said De Silvestro. “I feel like we had a solid run going. I was making passes and improving my confidence. It’s just unfortunate and I hope everyone in pit lane is okay. I’m proud of my Nuclear Clean Air Energy team for working so hard to give me a good car. We’ll keep trying and hope to bring home a good result at the season finale in Vegas.”

In two weeks, the stars and cars of the IZOD IndyCar Series will finish the 2011 season with grand fashion in Las Vegas. IndyCar has planned a plethora of activities and events for fans, leading up to Sunday’s race. The IZOD IndyCar World Championships at Las Vegas will take place on Sunday, October 16 at 3 p.m. ET. The telecast will air live on ABC.

Simona Finishes 14th at Twin Ring Motegi


Simona De Silvestro persevered to a fourteenth-place finish during the final IZOD IndyCar race at Twin Ring Motegi.

Starting from the back of the grid, De Silvestro was able to advance to P21 after only 15 laps. She and her HVM Racing team did some large changes throughout the weekend to find speed on the very low grip and tricky circuit. They accomplished their goal on Sunday afternoon, finding speed, putting together some solid laps and gaining positions.

De Silvestro was running in P17 at lap 50. An incident on lap 57 allowed her to advance to P16 and another with two laps to go in the race moved her up to P15. A penalty issued to another driver during the last few laps of the race gave her one more position, putting the No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car in P14 to finish the final road course of the 2011 season.

“I think overall we can be happy with how the race went,” said De Silvestro. “Where we started was kind of tough, but the car was definitely better in the race. It was difficult to pass out there, but we made it happen a few times. I’m proud of the Nuclear Clean Air Energy team for the work they put in this weekend as we tried a variety of changes. Now we’ll look forward to finishing the season strong in Kentucky and Vegas."

Simona Completes a Competitive Run on the Streets of Baltimore


Simona De Silvestro put on quite a show for the IZOD IndyCar fans, her sponsors and the city of Baltimore during Sunday's inaugural running of the Baltimore Grand Prix.

After a week away from the car - due to travel complications with the United States Customs & Border Patrol - De Silvestro was eager to get back into the cockpit and prove that she wants to finish the season strong.

During Saturday's qualifying session, the Swiss driver was able to advance to the second round and put the car in P12 on the starting grid. Due to several incidents that occurred in morning warmup on Sunday, her starting position moved up to P10.

After a fairly calm start to the 75-lap race, an early pit stop for two other drivers put De Silvestro in P8. She quickly passed Mike Conway to advance to P7.

Around the mid-way point of the race, De Silvestro was able to avoid contact during a massive pile-up in the hairpin. She charged forward, advancing positions, leading a lap at one point before the team, and the other top four cars, had to pit for fuel.

Unfortunately, fuel strategy was the name of the game. Because of the mid-race pileup and excessively long yellow-flag laps, the mid-pack teams were able to conserve just enough fuel to finish the race. De Silvestro, despite a perfectly-executed race, finished in P12.

"Honestly, I'm a bit disappointed in where we finished," said De Silvestro, "but the Nuclear Clean Air Energy car was really good. We were able to make positions every time we tried, like on the restarts. We were going forward and I really enjoyed myself. The track is a lot of fun - it's really busy, especially on red tires. It's such a physical track, but I like it. Plus, the support from my sponsors this weekend was amazing. I hope they had as much fun as I did!"

De Silvestro and her team first visited the city of Baltimore in February, where they announced a three-year partnership with Entergy Nuclear to promote the Nuclear Clean Air Energy campaign. Since then, AREVA, the global leader in nuclear energy, has also come on board as an associate sponsor. De Silvestro was happy to be able to entertain her sponsors on what she's referred to as what feels like her "home track."

In two weeks, the IZOD IndyCar Series heads to the other side of the world to compete in Motegi, Japan. The Indy Japan 300 will take place on Sunday, September 18 at 1 p.m. local time. The race will be aired live on Versus TV in the United States on Saturday, September 17 at 11:30 p.m. EDT. Motegi marks the 15th race on the IZOD IndyCar schedule, leaving only Kentucky before the World Championship in Las Vegas on Sunday, October 16.

De Silvestro Leads Crash-Filled Morning Warmup


Simona de Silvestro led Sunday's pre-race warmup in Baltimore, but it was Tony Kanaan's brake failure and big crash that made the headlines.

The 30-minute session delivered just four laps of action as the result of two crashes, with Kanaan's harrowing Turn 1 crash bringing out the first red flag.

“The brake pedal went to the floor," Kanaan told SPEED's Robin Miller. "I wasn’t sure who was ahead of me, but he was going to slow me down."

With no brakes at the end of the 170 mph front stright, Kanaan relied on one of his best friends, Team Penske's Helio Castroneves, to slow his GEICO-sponsored car before stiking the barriers.

Turning left as the corner approached, Kanaan intentionally steered his car into the side of Castroneves, launching the KV Racing car high into the air and scrubbing off speed.

"I did a track walk last night and saw that on the right side in Turn 1, there's some tires in front of a cement wall on the right, and on the left, there's an opening and then some tires--no cement wall. So I steered left... It probably saved my life."

After the crash, Kanaan was concerned Castroneves would be upset, and explained his rationale.

"I told him, 'hey brother, sorry, I had to use you to slow me down,' and he understood."

Castroneves was thankful his former Firestone Indy Lights teammates was unhurt.

"Fortunately, I'm OK and Tony is OK," he said. "He hit my [car] from the back and was flying over me, which was really concerning because I saw him fly over me and hit the wall in a very awkward position, so I was concerned, but when I saw him get out of the car and he was very alert, I was glad he was OK. Absolutely everything will be fine for the race. We're going with the spare car because we don't have time to fix the primary car."

KV Racing co-owner Jimmy Vasser told SPEED.com the team is currently evaluating whether Kanaan's car can be repaired in time for the race, or if the backup car will be pressed into service.

The second crash--also in Turn 1--involved three cars, with Panther Racing's JR Hildebrand slipping down the inside of the corner while Dreyer & Reinbold's Ana Beatriz was turning in. Hildebrand's car was pinched into the right side wall, Beatriz rode over Hildebrand's left front tire with her right rear, sending her airborne and into the corner exit tire barrier.

Dale Coyne Racing's James Jakes was following immediately behind, and nerfed into the back of Hildebrand's car, blocking the track.

A red flag ensued, bring an end to the session.

Rank, Driver, Gap, Best Lap
1 Simona de Silvestro 0.0000 1:24.0676
2 Danica Patrick 1.0387 1:25.1063
3 Tony Kanaan 1.0443 1:25.1119
4 Dario Franchitti 1.2861 1:25.3537
5 Will Power 1.3688 1:25.4364
6 Mike Conway 1.7025 1:25.7701
7 Marco Andretti 1.9304 1:25.9980
8 Scott Dixon 2.3317 1:26.3993
9 James Hinchcliffe 2.3663 1:26.4339
10 James Jakes 2.7672 1:26.8348
11 Sebastien Bourdais 3.0284 1:27.0960
12 Alex Tagliani 3.2661 1:27.3337
13 Helio Castroneves 3.3039 1:27.3715
14 Ryan Briscoe 3.5162 1:27.5838
15 Ana Beatriz 3.7740 1:27.8416
16 Martin Plowman 4.0903 1:28.1579
17 EJ Viso 4.5042 1:28.5718
18 JR Hildebrand 4.7208 1:28.7884
19 Vitor Meira 5.6097 1:29.6773
20 Ryan Hunter-Reay 5.7942 1:29.8618
21 Oriol Servia 8.0614 1:32.1290
22 Sebastian Saavedra 8.7185 1:32.7861
23 Ed Carpenter 9.1761 1:33.2437
24 Charlie Kimball 9.4843 1:33.5519
25 Giorgio Pantano 10.3414 1:34.4090
26 Tomas Scheckter 15.0248 1:39.0924
27 Takuma Sato 37.3681 2:01.4357
28 Graham Rahal
Source: auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/indycar-de-silvestro-leads-crash-filled-morning-warmup/

De Silvestro Happy To Be In Baltimore


After being turned away by customs before last weekend's Sonoma IndyCar race, Simona de Silvestro is thankful to be back in her car at Baltimore.

As a world traveler, IZOD IndyCar Series sophomore Simona de Silvestro had one of the more interesting adventures of her young life between the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma last weekend and the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix, which kicked off today.

Turned away by a customs agent after landing in the USA last Thursday, de Silvestro was sent back to her native Switzerland before making a second, successful attempt to re-enter the country for the Baltimore street race.

As a wise-beyond-her-years 23-year-old, de Silvestro had a good laugh about the experience that also added to her frequent flyer miles.

"You can't get mad," she told SPEED.com. "The [customs agent] asked why I spent so little time in Switzerland and then thought I should go enjoy some time at home..." she said with a smile.

With her customs problems resolved, de Silvestro says she'll get back to the task at hand--driving the Nuclear Clean Air Energy Indy car.

"It's good it's behind me," she continued. "It was hard not to be in the HVM Racing car at Sonoma, but everybody at the team and our sponsors were so supportive and understanding."

Plenty of de Silvestro's American fans have already apologized for the ridiculous problem she encountered last week, and although she's moved on from the incident, there was one aspect of the ordeal she'll carry around for a while.

"I got the big red [Entry Denied] stamp in my passport...," she said laughing, "I didn't have that one before..."
Source: auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/indycar-de-silvestro-happy-to-be-in-baltimore/

Simona Accomplishes Goals at New Hampshire Motor Speedway


Going into the race weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Simona De Silvestro and her HVM Racing team had two goals in mind: race smart and race safe. After a rough stretch of racing on the ovals following a massive crash at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the team knew that regaining De Silvestro’s confidence would be paramount.

De Silvestro completed all four practice sessions of the weekend without incident and was ready for Sunday’s 225-lap race. From the start, the MoveThatBlock.com Indy225 was chaotic. Incidents on the start and restart moved De Silvestro up several positions. Approximately 75 laps into the race, the yellow flag came out as rain sprinkled the track. The Nuclear Clean Air Energy team pushed forward, trying to keep pace and drive a smart race.

As several other cars had contact or mechanical issues, De Silvestro gained a few more positions. With only a few laps to go, the yellow flag flew again, due to rain. Most of the teams expected to finish the race under yellow, but officials decided to restart, causing some of the field’s leaders to crash. The restart was aborted, with results decided on running order from when the yellow flag dropped. De Silvestro finished P16, a finish that she looked at as a small victory.

“It was a pretty crazy day out there, but I’m really happy just to get that monkey off my back because now I know I can do it,” says De Silvestro. “I think the Nuclear Clean Air Energy car was pretty quick. The team has given me a good car – it’s really comfortable to drive and I didn’t have to do too much inside, so that was really helping me because I could just work on my momentum. We started to figure everything out towards the end. I’m really happy with that. Now we’re going to go back to road courses after a good oval so I think confidence will be pretty good. Then I can go to Kentucky and really build on that. I think we’ll have a really good end of the season.”

From east coast to west, De Silvestro and the other drivers of the IZOD IndyCar Series will compete at Infineon Raceway. From the rolling hills of Sonoma, California, the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma will take place on Sunday, August 14 at 4 p.m. EDT and will be aired live on VERSUS TV.

The Sky’s the Limit for Simona at New Hampshire Motor Speedway


Simona De Silvestro has seen adversity and risen to the challenge. She and her team at HVM Racing arrived at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this week with two goals in mind: be smart and be safe.

The Swiss driver’s sophomore season hasn’t been without challenges, including a massive crash during practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and another during qualifying at The Milwaukee Mile. The incidents affected De Silvestro both physically and emotionally. Since June, she’s been working hard to overcome her issues and regain her position as one of IndyCar’s rising stars.

De Silvestro has made a strong comeback, completing some solid runs on the various road courses on the IZOD IndyCar schedule. With a background in road course racing, the comeback came naturally. However, returning to an oval for the first time since the incidents has been a challenge. One that De Silvestro is determined to conquer, one step at a time.

“I think we’re making improvements,” says De Silvestro, “but honestly, I think it’s really about my confidence. It’s going to be a tough weekend and a busy race tomorrow, but the important thing is to finish and for me to get comfortable because that’s the only way we’re going to get better. I think that if you take too big of a risk and something happens, you just take ten steps back and that’s really not what I want to do. I really want to look forward, so that’s the goal.”

De Silvestro will start Sunday’s MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 in P24. The 12th stop on the IZOD IndyCar schedule will be broadcast live on ABC. Pre-race coverage will start at 2:45 p.m. ET with the green flag dropping at approximately 4 p.m.

Simona Executes Solid Run at Mid-Ohio


On Sunday afternoon, Simona De Silvestro persevered at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to add another solid run to her sophomore-season record. Despite a rough start and an early pit stop incident, she was able to focus forward and cross the finish line in P12.

As the Honda Indy 200 began, De Silvestro’s No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car got sandwiched between J.R. Hildebrand and Tony Kanaan. She didn’t sustain any damage, but incident caused her to lose two positions. Later, on lap 21, De Silvestro clipped the front right tire that was sitting in Marco Andretti’s pit box (directly behind HVM’s) as both drivers came in for a stop. De Silvestro moved back to P22, but was able to make up the positions throughout the remainder of the race.

“Overall, I think we did okay today,” said De Silvestro. “At the start, we kind of got checked up and lost a couple of positions, but the car felt good and we gained them back. I think we had a good pace by ourselves, but in traffic, it wasn’t easy to make passes and I think other drivers struggled with that too.”

Now, she’s looking toward the rest of the season and setting new goals.

“I think we just need to improve our qualifying attempts. Last year at Mid-Ohio, we started further up front and were able to stay there, so I think if I can work with the Nuclear Clean Air Energy crew to focus on qualifying, we can do that again. That will really help us.”

The stars and cars of the IZOD IndyCar Series head to Loudon, New Hampshire next weekend for the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225. The 13th race of the season will take place at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, where the series hasn’t raced since 1998. Fans can catch all the action at the track on Sunday, August 14 at 3:30 p.m. EDT or on the telecast, airing live on ABC.

Improvements Continue as HVM Racing Looks Toward Race Day at Mid-Ohio


Each track session at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is bringing new improvements for Simona De Silvestro and her HVM Racing team.

After the first session on Friday afternoon, the Nuclear Clean Air Energy team posted a P11. An encouraging result, given that traffic prevented her from giving it all she could with the car.

“At the end there, on new tires, we didn’t really get a clean lap,” she said, “but I think we were able to use the things we learned at the test last week. I’m happy with how things are evolving here.”

The second session on Saturday morning gave the team even more time to make improvements heading into qualifying. De Silvestro had a great qualifying run with a time of 1:08.42112, putting her P7 in her group by less than a tenth of a second. She’ll start Sunday’s race in P14.

“It’s kind of frustrating, but I think we’ll have a strong car for the race. It’s kind of tough to pass here – we’ll aim for making some passes at the start and go from there. We’ve been starting from this position several times this season and managed to come out with a good result, so we’re going to work a little bit more for tomorrow and see what we’ve got.”

The Honda Indy 200 will take place on Sunday at 2:45 p.m. ET, with pre-race activities beginning at 2 p.m. The 85-lap race is the 12th on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule and will be aired on VERSUS.

Bad Luck Ruins Simona’s Top Ten Run at Edmonton


Simona De Silvestro was on her way to her fourth top-ten finish of the season when a mechanical problem stopped her on lap 55 of Sunday afternoon’s Edmonton Indy.

De Silvestro and her Nuclear Clean Air Energy crew had a rough start to the Edmonton Indy race weekend. IndyCar track activity was cancelled on Friday, after a continuous rain fell over the Edmonton City Centre Airport circuit.

Saturday’s schedule was rearranged to include additional track time, however De Silvestro and her team spent both sessions trying to find enough speed. That afternoon, the team made good progress and De Silvestro delivered a solid qualifying attempt, running in the top six for most of the session. The time fell just short with only a couple minutes left, leaving her to start P16 in Sunday’s race.

After several incidents during the early laps of the Edmonton Indy, De Silvestro was running P18. She continued to move up through the field and, after a great pit stop on lap 38, was running P12. A drive-through penalty for Hunter-Reay moved her up to P11. Eleven laps later, she came out of the team’s second pit stop in P10. Unfortunately, the car suffered a suspected clutch failure, bringing HVM’s day to an end on lap 55.

“It’s definitely disappointing,” said De Silvestro. “The team worked so hard this weekend to improve the Nuclear Clean Air Energy car every time we went out on track. After our top-ten finish in Toronto, I thought we were headed toward a repeat, but that just wasn’t our luck today. So we’ll hope to do it in Mid-Ohio.”

In two weeks, the IZOD IndyCar Series heads to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, OH. The Honda Indy 200, airing on Versus, will take place on Sunday, August 7 at 2 p.m. EDT.

Simona Finds Speed for Edmonton Indy Qualifying


Simona de Silvestro and her HVM Racing team had a rough start to the Edmonton Indy race weekend. However, on Saturday afternoon, De Silvestro showed that she wouldn’t be deterred, hitting the track with a notable qualifying effort.

The Nuclear Clean Air Energy crew, along with the other teams in the IZOD IndyCar Series paddock, was ready to go for the first practice on Friday morning. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans. A continuous, and sometimes intense, rain fell all day on the Edmonton City Centre Airport circuit, cancelling all track activity for the day. HVM Racing had the added challenge of being near the main drain in the paddock. As the downpours continued, the rainwater flowed downhill and pooled in the center of the covered setup area. The team was able to manage the situation, which cleared up by Saturday’s scheduled track time.

An additional practice session was added on Saturday morning to make up for lost time on Friday. De Silvestro and her team struggled in both sessions, aiming to make the proper adjustments in time for the afternoon qualifying session.

De Silvestro made a solid qualifying attempt, running in the top six for most of the session. The time fell just short with only a couple minutes left, leaving her to start P16 in Sunday’s race.

“It’s tough when you struggle in practice,” said De Silvestro. “We had some trouble this morning, but the Nuclear team has made some improvements since them. I think we were better on reds and it felt like the car just came alive much more in this session. We have to improve even more for tomorrow, though. The race is going to be a challenge, but I really like the track and I’m having a lot of fun out there.”

The Edmonton Indy will take place Sunday, July 24 at the Edmonton City Centre Airport and airing on Versus. Pre-race activities will begin at noon with the 90-lap race starting at 12:45 p.m. MDT.

Simona Earns a Top-Ten Finish on the Streets of Toronto


After 85 laps of chaos during the Honda Indy Toronto on Sunday afternoon, Simona De Silvestro crossed the finish line with a tenth-place finish and a sense of accomplishment.

Not only did the result mark her third top-ten finish of the 2011 season, it also accomplished the comeback she was hoping for after a month and a half of unfortunate luck.

De Silvestro started P17 on the temporary street circuit and quickly advanced her way forward, at one point running as high as P4. The race included numerous cautions, but De Silvestro was able to avoid incidents, save fuel and make advances.

“Overall, I think the race went really well,” she said. “It felt great to be back in the Nuclear Clean Air Energy car and I had a lot of fun out there. We’re definitely going to build on this result as we move forward. My team did an awesome job and I’m grateful to them, and my sponsors, for sticking with me over the past couple months. Now it’s time to look forward to the rest of the season.”

In two weeks, the IZOD IndyCar Series travels to Edmonton City Centre Airport in Alberta, Canada for the Edmonton Indy. The race will air on Sunday, July 24 at 2 p.m. ET on Versus TV.

Simona Ready to Make Her Return in the Honda Indy Toronto


After a tough month and a half, Simona De Silvestro is back in the cockpit of the No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car for the Honda Indy Toronto this weekend.

De Silvestro and the HVM crew arrived in Toronto with a focus on putting the past behind them and aiming for the success they saw at the beginning of the 2011 season. The team made steady improvements with each practice session of the weekend, which saw the entire field separated by less than one second, leading up to Saturday afternoon’s qualifying attempt.

The run was solid, however just not enough to advance into the second round of qualifying. De Silvestro will start P17 for Sunday’s race.

“In our qualifying attempt, we gambled a little bit with the tires but it was just something to try,” she said. “There are a couple of things we have to change on the Nuclear Clean Air Energy car, but it felt pretty strong. That’s going to be a good thing for the race tomorrow. It will be about being consistent and not making mistakes. If we can do that, we’ll have a good finish.”

De Silvestro joins the rest of the IZOD IndyCar field on Sunday for the Honda Indy Toronto, an 85-lap race on the temporary street circuit in downtown Toronto. The pre-race festivities will begin on Versus TV at 2 p.m. ET.

Simona Not Cleared to Drive at Iowa Speedway


After a week of ups and downs following an accident at The Milwaukee Mile last weekend, Simona de Silvestro met with medical staff on Friday morning at Iowa Speedway and was not cleared to drive in the Iowa Corn Indy 250.

Last Saturday, de Silvestro’s car made contact with the SAFER barrier on the exit of turn four, in addition to the inside wall of the track. De Silvestro was sent to Froedert hospital, where she was later released.

What followed was a series of medical evaluations throughout the week. The following is a statement from INDYCAR regarding those check-ups:

“Upon evaluation Sunday morning at Milwaukee, Simona had no physical signs of a concussion after the neurological exam and didn’t report any post-concussion symptoms to the INDYCAR medical team so she was cleared to drive. After taking 11 laps in the car, Simona returned to the care center reporting post-concussion symptoms. Physical and emotional stress can bring out post-concussion symptoms.

To be cleared to drive after a concussion, a driver must pass the IMPACT Test and INDYCAR Medical evaluation. Simona passed the IMPACT Test on Wednesday but was still exhibiting post-concussion symptoms when evaluated by INDYCAR Medical on Friday at Iowa so she has not been cleared to drive. She will be re-evaluated at Toronto.”

For additional information regarding this statement, please contact Amy Konrath, Director of Public Relations for INDYCAR.

HVM Racing and the Nuclear Clean Air Energy team has made the decision to pack up and go back to Indianapolis, where they will prepare for the next race on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule. The Honda Indy Toronto (airing on Versus) will take place on Sunday, July 10 at 2 p.m. ET.

Ride of a lifetime for Ohio teen


A J. Digby is like any other active, popular 13-year old. He participates in sports, enjoys activities with his family and loves to travel.

But in two ways this lad from Otsego, Ohio, is different than most teenagers. A.J. was born with Fibular hemimelia -- a rare condition in which neither of his legs has a fibula. To get around comfortably, he wears prosthetic legs.

A.J. enjoys running track and field and playing football at Otsego Junior High. He also has a passion for IndyCars and the Indianapolis 500. A.J. and his family have attend the '500' seven times. He pores over stats and watches races. And while Tony Kanaan is his favorite driver, A. J.’s top-five list dramatically changed Aug. 4.

“Mom said we were going downtown (Toledo) to see the Indy two-seater and I was totally excited,” A.J. said with a smile. “Mom kept telling me a little more about the day and I finally realized that I was getting a ride in the car.”

The IZOD IndyCar Series and the staff of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course arranged the ride for A.J. as part of the promotion for this weekend's Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. Toledo Mayor Mike Bell and his staff arranged for streets to be closed and for a police escort so HVM Racing driver Simona de Silvestro could give A.J. an experience he would never forget.

“Before meeting Simona she was my fifth-favorite driver," said A.J. as he climbed into the street-legal two-seater. Grinning from the passenger’s seat before they hit the city streets and the fast stretch of Greenbelt Parkway, A.J. proclaimed “she’s now No. 3 on my list.”

The mayor waved the green flag to start the trip as his mother (Robin), father (Gordon), sister Ashlyn (11 years old and a Will Power fan) and brother Keggan (10 years old and a Dario Franchitti fan) watched.

“I had never driven the IndyCar two-seater before and I really wanted to get it right the first time out for A.J.,” de Silvestro said. “He was so happy just sitting in the car. I could only imagine how happy he would be if I got it up to 100 mph or so with the police escort.”

She didn't disappoint. After the 10-minute adventure, they returned with A.J. pumping his fist.

“I have to say, this is the best day of my life and you know what? Simona is now bumped up to No. 2 on my favorite driver list,” he said.

De Silvestro presented A.J. and his family with tickets to the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio before dining at Tony Packo’s Cafe at the Park.

“A.J. really is a great kid and loves racing. I just wonder what I have to do to get to No. 1 on his list?" de Silvestro said. "You know, if I make it to the podium this weekend, I’d love to have him join me, if that helps."
Source: www.indycar.com/news/show/55-izod-indycar-series/44446-ride-of-a-lifetime-for-ohio-teen

De Silvestro's goal: 'Get back in car quickly'


Simona de Silvestro laughed that she had to rely on her mother to lace her multi-color sneakers this morning.

Simona De Silvestro Talks about Her Crash

YouTube

Pippa Mann

The HVM Racing driver, who was involved in a fiery crash 25 minutes into the practice session May 19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, is hoping to be cleared by INDYCAR medical director Dr. Michael Olinger to participate in Pole Day qualifications May 21.

She was not cleared to drive in the six-hour practice session May 20. INDYCAR rules allow a substitute driver to qualify the No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car, but a switch necessitates starting at the rear of the 33-car field.

De Silvestro was treated at Methodist Hospital for second-degree burns on the back of her right hand and superficial burns on her left hand and fingertips.

“It is my goal to get back in the car as quickly as I can,” she said as the crew continued preparations of the backup car in the HVM Racing garage. “For any race car driver it’s important to get right back in the car. If you step out of it, you’ll always think about it and think whether it was the right decision. I think when I go out there again I’ll enjoy it. It will be (INDYCAR’s medical team’s) decision and also mine because it’s pretty shocking.”

Gripping the steering wheel and using the paddle shifters will be difficult.

“I can move my hands, but it is pretty tight because it pulls the skin,” she said. “It will hurt a lot. Luckily, on an oval it’s not as physical as a road course.”

De Silvestro was on her seventh lap of the session when sparks were seen trailing the No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car for HVM Racing entering Turn 3 of the 2.5-mile oval. The car made contact with the SAFER Barrier between Turns 3 and 4, spun and rode the wall backward before making secondary contact with the SAFER Barrier and lower portion of the catch fence in Turn 4. The car slid down the track on its top, with flames surrounding it. The Holmatro Safety Team was on the scene within seconds to douse the flames and assist the 22-year-old driver from Switzerland.

“Something broke on the rear suspension and when that happens you’re just a passenger,” she said. “You can’t really do anything about it, especially when you’re going about 220 mph. I hit the wall and it took forever to land it seemed, and then it started getting pretty hot out there (because of flames). It was pretty shocking actually, especially to be on fire. It’s kind of weird because the fuel is splashing on you and you don’t really know what to do. A lot of things go through your head, but you want to get out of the car as quickly as possible.

“I was pretty shocked, but I can say I’m lucky to be here. It just shows how safe the car is. I don’t think a crash like that in any other car I would be standing here.”

De Silvestro, the 2010 Chase Rookie of the Year for the Indy 500, walked without assistance from the Holmatro Safety Team to Command One for the trip to the IU Health Infield Care Center.

“I don’t think I was a good patient in the infield medical center because I was in a lot of pain and I was screaming for water to cool my hands down,” she said. “They took good care of me and they we went to the hospital, where they said it was second degree burns. We took the bandages off (this morning) and they were really blistered.”

De Silvestro also suffered minor burns in a backstretch crash last June at Texas Motor Speedway.

“Those were small blisters on the palms of my hand and these look like something out of a horror movie,” she said. “It looks bad and feels bad.”
Source: indycar.com/news/show/55-izod-indycar-series/42938-de-silvestroand-39-s-goal-and-39-get-back-in-car-quicklyand-39

De Silvestro released from hospital


IZOD IndyCar Series driver Simona de Silvestro, who was involved in a crash 25 minutes into the practice session at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was released from Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis after being treated for second-degree burns on the back of her right hand and superficial burns on her left hand.

She will meet with the INDYCAR medical staff May 20 to evaluate her driving status.

"Thank you for all the well wishes. Trying to get rid of the Mickey Mouse gloves as soon as possible," she wrote on her Twitter account.

De Silvestro, the 2010 Chase Rookie of the Year for the Indy 500, walked without assistance from the Holmatro Safety Team to Command One for the trip to the infield care center.

She was on her seventh lap of the session when sparks were seen trailing the No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car for HVM Racing entering Turn 3 of the 2.5-mile oval. The car made contact with the SAFER Barrier between Turns 3 and 4, spun and rode the wall backward before making secondary contact with the SAFER Barrier and lower portion of the catch fence in Turn 4. The car slid down the track on its top, with flames surrounding it. The Holmatro Safety Team was on the scene within seconds to douse the flames and assist the 22-year-old driver from Switzerland.

HVM Racing owner Keith Wiggins said the chassis isn't repairable -- "... it's going in the trash" -- and the team began preparing the backup that de Silvestro drove for 13 laps on Opening Day (May 14).

"That was our special car for here, which takes a lot of effort," Wiggins added. "We've got to get that sorted out, and obviously, she's got to get her confidence back up as well."

Track activity resumed at 1:03 p.m. after track crews repaired the catch fence.

De Silvestro, who recorded a career-best finish of fourth in the season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, is 11th in the championship standings entering the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500.
Source:
indycar.com/news/show/55-izod-indycar-series/42914-de-silvestro-released-from-hospital/

IndyCar's Simona de Silvestro serious about racing and it shows


Look for Simona de Silvestro to strut her stuff at the beach Sunday.

That's Long Beach, Calif., where de Silvestro should again prove she's the real deal in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

This season, de Silvestro, who is with HVM Racing, has not only held her own against fellow female racer Danica Patrick, she has gone wheel-to-wheel with series veterans Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves.

Kanaan, perhaps the toughest driver in IndyCar, wiped his brow in St. Petersburg, Fla., and praised de Silvestro for her pluck after her car just about gnawed off the rear end of his Dallara/Honda during the race.

The 22-year-old from Switzerland finished fourth on the streets at St. Pete and ninth on the road course at Barber Motorsports Park (Ala.). In contrast, Patrick, who drives for Andretti Autosport, was 12th at St. Petersburg and 17th at Barber -- and she has many more years of experience in the series.

Granted, Patrick -- 16th in the points standings -- is more comfortable on ovals and is expected to pick up the speed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May, but de Silvestro has been nothing short of amazing. She's fifth in series points.

Last year at a media day during Indy 500 race week, de Silvestro sat alone at a table while reporters and TV crews swamped Castroneves, Patrick, Dario Franchitti and Kanaan. It was a ripe opportunity for me to chat with her.

What I discovered was a racer -- pure and simple. She was extremely polite, understated and deeply motivated.

In her first start in that Indy 500, de Silvestro placed 14th and was named rookie of the year.

In 2009, she recorded four poles and four wins in the hotly contested Atlantic Series, which she entered in 2007 after competing earlier in the Formula Renault Italy (2005) and Formula BMW USA (2006) series.

And a top-10 finish in Sunday's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach would give de Silvestro a solid performance on a demanding circuit.

My bet is she gets the drop on the Go Daddy Girl at the very least.
Source: www.freep.com/article/20110415/SPORTS16/104150442/0/7daysarchives/Mike-Brudenell-Simona-de-Silvestro-serious-about-racing-shows?odyssey=mod_sectionstories

Award-winning Simona de Silvestro back with HVM


Walking off the Championship Celebration stage Oct. 3 with the Tony Renna Rising Star Award, Simona de Silvestro felt a sense of accomplishment for the 2010 season and determination to improve in her second year.

The 22-year-old Swiss driver finished 19th in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings (second in Rookie of the Year chase) with two top-10 finishes and a suitcase full of experience. She’ll return with HVM Racing for the 2011 season.

“I’m really thankful to Firestone for giving me this award,” said de Silvestro, who also was voted the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year after advancing eight positions to finish 14th. “It shows that we really worked hard this year with HVM Racing. It’s just great to be part of a team like that because they really believed in me and they let me be who I am.

“The series is just great and I’m looking forward to being back next year.”

De Silvestro, an Atlantics graduate, opened eyes in the mid-March opener on the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil, by qualifying 11th. Though top-10 results were difficult to come by in the first half of the season on road/street circuits and ovals she had not competed on, the No. 78 car consistently was running in the top 10 at some point of races. She posted a high finish of eighth at Mid-Ohio and a best starting position of seventh at Edmonton.

“We had a lot of ups and downs, but there were a lot of really good ups I believe,” she said. “We were running up front with the big guys at a couple of races, and going into the season I didn’t expect that at all because we might be the smallest team out there.

“This year I learned a lot on the ovals and also the road courses. There are so many things like doing pit stops and how a race is unfolding. Coming from Atlantics where the races are much shorter and coming to IndyCar where the races are much longer and everything is bigger, you have to manage tires and manage yourself not to get tired. It will help me next year to be stronger.”

HVM Racing owner Keith Wiggins didn’t want the efforts of 2010 to go by the wayside, and the team now seeks to improve its financial foundation for the 17-race 2011 season.

“When we started this season we could not have anticipated the challenges we would face, both financially and on track, with incidents and equipment damage,” Wiggins said. “However, we could not also have anticipated the development of Simona in such a short period. The team and driver showed what is possible

“Now it is time to put 2010 behind us and do the job properly in 2011. This team knows how to win and we are focused on getting the right package together to move forward.”

De Silvestro starts season-high 7th at Edmonton.


Simona de Silvestro acknowledged the cheers and applause of the pit lane grandstand throng on her way to the Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing transporter following the second round of qualifications.

"It wasn't bad," she said.

Indeed.The IZOD IndyCar Series rookie from Switzerland will start a season-high seventh in the Honda Indy Edmonton, and just missed qualifying for the Firestone Fast Six on the 1.973-mile, 14-turn City Centre Airport circuit. Her previous best qualifying effort was 11th in the season opener in Brazil.

De Silvestro posted a quick lap of 1 minute, 1.5437 seconds in the No. 78 car. E.J. Viso had a lap of 1:01.4393 in the No. 8 PDVSA KV Racing Technology car to advance to his first Firestone Fast Six.

"Starting seventh with some of the big guys in front of us is something pretty special," said de Silvestro, who advanced 12 positions to finish a season-high ninth last week in the Honda Indy Toronto. "We put two sets of reds (Firestone alternate tires) on in the first session. I think if we would have had a fresh set of reds in the second session we would have been a bit quicker.

"But the whole team at HVM can be really happy. They've worked really hard all weekend, and now we just have to try to move forward and I think it could be a good race for us. If we can duplicate what we did in Toronto -- moving forward in the race -- I think with this starting position it's going to be good."
Source: indycar.com/news/show/55-izod-indycar-series/38764-de-silvestro-starts-season-high-7th-notes/

Seventh heaven for rookie


Switzerland's de Silvestro has her best qualifying result of season to start in top 10.

Simona de Silvestro may not be able to draw on much experience just yet but Saturday she did something Justin Wilson couldn't do, something Ryan Hunter-Reay couldn't do, and something Paul Tracy couldn't do either.

She pulled in right behind the fastest six for today's Honda Indy Edmonton and will go out seventh when the 25-car field takes to the track at the City Centre Airport.

Her finish in Saturday's round was her best qualifying result this season.

"We can be really happy with this. You always expect to do well, but it's really tough out there. Some of these people have been driving these cars for over 10 years," De Silvestro said after she made the walk from the pits to the paddock, signing autographs all along the way.

"I like her. She's way nicer than Danica Patrick," said one fan before the Swiss Miss handed him an autographed picture she had retrieved from her trailer.

With so much focus on Patrick, who was 21st, and Milka Duono -- who, based on her slow practice times, was parked by the Indy Racing League on Saturday -- De Silvestro has just been going about her business since arriving in Edmonton.

What followed was a head-turning afternoon. She was first in the second qualifying group, then went out for the fast-six segment and finished behind the likes of pole-sitter Will Power, his Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves, and third-place finisher Scott Dixon.

Dixon drives for Target Chip Ganassi racing, another of the IRL's big boys.

De Silvestro, a rookie in the IndyCar Series, is a one-woman, one-car team.

"She's done a great job, no doubt about it," said Dario Franchitti, the defending Indy 500 champ. "She definitely hustles the car. I think the guys, with limited resources, are doing a good job of giving her good cars at times. Very impressed all around."

"I totally agree," said Dixon. "She's done a hell of a job on her first season in a field like this ... the competition's extremely tough."

De Silvestro's best result was her ninth-place finish in Toronto last weekend.

"We've had a strong car all weekend. It's just that in practice we could never put a lap together because there were always yellows," the engaging 21-year-old said while the HVM Racing crew fine-tuned her No. 78 car.

"In qualifying, we were really strong. I think we made a mistake of putting two sets of red tires on in that first session. If we would have had fresh tires in the second session, I think we could have got into the top six.

"But we can be happy with what we have. The big teams are in front of us and we're right there. I'm really happy about that. It's going to be a long race, a really hard race. It's really physical here, so starting more up front is going to help us."

De Silvestro previously raced in Edmonton in an Atlantic Series car, so she's seen the course before. She didn't have a great view, though, having put her car into the wall at the same turn in two separate races.

Now in an Indy car, with its increased horsepower, even more care is needed.

"Everything comes at you much faster, so you're really on edge out there," she said. "But I think I've really learned a lot in the last couple of years and finally, the pieces are coming together. This track is really cool. It's such a fast track.

"You're almost out of breath after three laps. It's really physical, but it is a lot of fun."
Source: www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/Seventh+heaven+rookie/3320634/story.html

deSilvestro at Texas


Simona De Silvestro suffered a minor burn on her right hand when the No. 78 Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing car made contact with the SAFER Barrier exiting Turn 2 on Lap 99.

“The car was pretty loose for a couple of laps,” said De Silvestro, who was competing in her third oval race. “It was pretty hard coming out of Turn 2. I was able to catch it a couple of times but this time it got away from me and I hit the wall. The car caught on fire and it wasn’t really extinguishing. I feel bad for the guys because the car was pretty good, just a little loose. Now I know what a loose car is.”
Source: indycar.com/news/show/55-izod-indycar-series/37946-briscoe-holds-off-patrick-for-texas-win/

Simona De Silvestro talks about being a Rookie


“The Danica question happens pretty often,” IZOD IndyCar Series rookie Simona De Silvestro admitted. “I always get the same question asking me to compare myself and Danica, or how I think she’s doing. It think it happens at least once in every interview.”

It’s hard enough for a rookie IndyCar driver to earn the respect of their fellow drivers, and sometimes it’s even harder to earn that respect from the media. And when it seems like the first question asked always revolves around one of your competitors, the struggle to carve out your own headlines becomes an even greater task.

In the case of Switzerland’s De Silvestro, she’s merely the latest female driver to receive “The Danica Question.” IndyCar team owner/driver Sarah Fisher – a driver whose IndyCar career started six years prior to Patrick’s arrival – has always answered questions regarding the GoDaddy Girl with respect and class.

Venezuela’s Milka Duno has taken a different approach since her IndyCar arrival in 2007 with the SAMAX Motorsports team. From the well publicized dust up with Patrick at Mid-Ohio in 2008, to her deeply rooted dislike for the most popular female driver on the tour, Duno usually refuses to mention her rival’s name when asked to comment.

But with Duno’s 15 Minutes coming to a close, now it’s De Silvestro’s turn in the crosshairs. While the dedicated IndyCar media tends to treat her as an individual, that hasn’t always the case from reporters on temporary assignment.

I listened in during the Long Beach Grand Prix weekend as one local reporter phoned his editor to ask about what interviews would be needed for the following day, and the conversation that followed was all too predictable.

“I didn’t see where Danica ended up today, but one of the guys here said this rookie girl De Silvestro is supposed to be fast. I’ll see if I can get Danica tomorrow and then I’ll do another story on the rookie. I don’t know if she’s hot like Danica, but I’ll see if she and Danica are friends and what she thinks about her.”

De Silvestro has taken a page from the Sarah Fisher School of handling “The Danica Question,” graciously answering the repetitive inquiry with no hint of frustration. That’s not to say she doesn’t get frustrated, but learning to keep those feeling private has been an ongoing aspect of her rookie education.

Even if being asked about Danica has grown tiresome after just five rounds of the 2010 championship, De Silvestro understands why so many feel the need to compare and contrast the two.

“I think it’s normal because Danica, for us female drivers, is the benchmark, she is the one who has been the most noticed and who has been doing pretty well in the last few years. So on one side, for sure, it’s been annoying because there are 25 other drivers out there that I’m trying to beat, but at the end of the day, I think that it’s normal and it’s understandable that people are going to ask that question.”

De Silvestro knows that there is only one way to slow the comparisons to Danica, if not reverse their roles altogether.

“I think if I keep working really hard and if I get the results I know I am capable of, I think that I’m going to be more considered as just a race car driver and, maybe a little less for being a female. It will be different if I start winning a lot of races, that’s for sure. I don’t know if it’s going to change, but I hope it’s going to change. I’m a race car driver first and then all of the other stuff comes after it. I think it’s going to take a while but I’m going to keep working on it and try to be up at the front and then maybe it’ll change. Maybe the other drivers will be asked to comment about me, instead.”

If you look beyond gender and their disparate levels of notoriety, De Silvestro has been differentiating herself from Patrick since the opening IndyCar round in Brazil, where she briefly led and has since gone on to impress almost everyone with her pace on the road courses. After a cautious start at her first oval race at Kansas, she executed her game plan and finished all 200 laps without incident, gaining valuable experience heading into the Indy 500.

It would be unrealistic to expect De Silvestro and her small HVM Racing team to challenge a heavily sponsored and fully equipped team like Patrick’s at the Speedway, but that doesn’t mean she’s given up on any chance of doing well. Fans have been drawn to De Silvestro’s no nonsense approach to the sport, as well as her penchant for out running more established drivers.

For those who value speed over celebrity, De Silvestro has become an instant favorite, and it has shown in the length of her autograph lines this year. Adjusting to all of the attention that has come her way since Brazil has taken some getting used to, but once the Indy 500 gets into full swing, she’ll be met by bigger crowds than she’s ever faced.

De Silvestro says she’s ready to accommodate whatever small following she’s amassed and to answer “The Danica Question” by the dozens. She knows it will take time for her on-track performances to slow the frequency of comparisons that are made between she and Danica, but there is one area De Silvestro hopes to counter immediately: Merchandizing.

“I look forward to it. We are here to entertain the fans, so if any of them are kind enough to want to follow my career, I am very fortunate. I think there was a pretty good response at Long Beach. I’ve never had such a big crowd waiting in front of my tent, so that was pretty nice. I’m told the IndyCar fans at Indy are ten times more, so that will be kind of crazy. As for the merchandise, we’re starting on that right now so I think that’s why a lot of people are wearing Danica shirts still! But we’ll try to change that! I hope a lot of people are going to notice what I’m doing on the track and like what I do and then, maybe they will buy my shirts instead.”

I love it — De Silvestro wants to beat Patrick on and off the track and isn’t afraid to say so. I think achieving the latter might prove to be more difficult than she expects, but how about the former? It might take a few years, but if De Silvestro keeps progressing at her present rate, it won’t be long before Danica gets tired of answering “The Simona Question.”
Source: Female Racing News

Team Stargate Worlds and HVM Racing combine efforts to challenge IndyCar Series with Simona De Silvestro


In a collaborative effort with HVM Racing, Team Stargate Worlds will enter the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series with driver Simona De Silvestro. Known as Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing, the team will carry primary sponsorship from Stargate Resistance and associate sponsorship from Bernard Richards Manufacture (BRM), FireSky, Cheyenne Mountain Games, and Cardinal Technologies. De Silvestro and the # 78 entry will also lead the Do Not Text “N” Drive campaign which is designed to increase public awareness about the dangers of texting while driving.

Both groups partnered up and spent the offseason testing De Silvestro in both an Indy car and an Indy Lights car and by all measurements the tests were successful and more importantly, a glimpse of the promising possibilities. De Silvestro, who enters her 6th year in North American open-wheel racing stunned the open-wheel world in 2009 by winning 4 races in dominant fashion, earning 4 pole positions, and gathering an extraordinary 9 podium finishes in the 2009 Atlantic Championship season. She would go on to finish third in the series. Her success was not only impressive but it was also record breaking. De Silvestro was the first woman is series history to have earned the most wins, pole positions, and led the most laps in a single season. “Racing in the IndyCar series, alongside the class of competition that I will be racing with is a true honor. I am very grateful for this opportunity and for the type of team that I will have alongside me. I am equally grateful for the support that I have from my sponsors, family, friends and fans. I am very eager for my debut in the 2010 IZOD IndyCar season,” states the young 21 year old from Thun, Switzerland.

For Team Stargate Worlds, who also enters its 6th year of competition in North American open-wheel competition, this marks an substantial expansion of its operations. Led by team principals Shane Seneviratne and Imran Safiulla, the California based team looks forward to its new partnership with HVM Racing. “This is yet another significant step in Simona's career. We have had a very fortunate few years that have led us here and I could not imagine being able to form this new relationship with a better person than Keith. I am greatly appreciative of every single person and every company that has helped make this possible and look forward to a successful 2010,” states Safiulla.

For HVM Racing having De Silvestro as its driver is exciting and full of possibilities. “From the first day of the first test, we knew she could drive,” said Keith Wiggins, HVM Racing team principal and owner. “The longer we worked with her, the more she impressed us. I think she has a great future in this series. She made a lot of history in the Atlantic Championship and we expect her to make some waves in IndyCar now that she’s here.” The team will now turn its attention on its first race of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season opener, the Saõ Paulo Indy 300, taking place in the streets of Saõ Paulo, Brazil on March 13 and 14.
Source: www.usracetronics.com/news/read/team-stargate-worldshvm-racing-izod-indycar-series-team-announcement

Simona and Team Impress Once Again at Open Test


The 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series testing season got off to a positive start when Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing concluded a two-day Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park in Huntsville, Ala., with driver Simona De Silvestro. The test marks the third time in which Team Stargate Worlds and HVM Racing have partnered up with De Silvestro in the cockpit and once again the recipe proved fruitful.

While frigid Alabama temperatures may have greeted the team on the first day, it wasn't going to deter the task at hand. De Silvestro was able to run some valuable learning laps, and by the end of the day had completed 48 successful laps with a best time of 01:12.8124 coming at Lap 36.

On Day 2 De Silvestro roared back on track and soon began carving her way around the 2.38-mile permanent road course. The experience and confidence gained during her previous day served her well and her speeds kept her amongst the more seasoned series veterans throughout the session. By the end of the day, De Silvestro had concluded 58 laps with a top speed of 01:11.335 which put her 16th on the timesheets.

This test was only De Silvestro’s second time in an IndyCar in her career with her first being in December at Sebring International Raceway under similar frigid conditions. By all measures, De Silvestro and her team accomplished the goals of the two-day event and continued to build on what was already a solid partnership between Team Stargate Worlds and HVM Racing. The team continues to put together the final details of its 2010 racing plans with announcements expected before the season opener in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on March 14.

Simona De Silvestro – Driver, No. 78 Stargate Resistance – “I had a little bit of a rough start in the beginning, but it was the first time I had been in an IndyCar on a fast track and it is something still very new to me. However, at the end of the day, the team and I gained a lot of knowledge and we accomplished our goals and in that respect I think we managed to have a very successful test. We used the opportunity to try some new things and I believe collectively as a group we are heading the right way. Overall I am so happy with everything and the team has helped me learn quite a lot and I look forward to learning more this season.”

Imran Safiulla - Team Stargate Worlds Principal – “On behalf of Shane (Shane Seneviratne) and I, the test did not start the way we would have liked and the poor weather conditions were the primary factor. However, it’s always about the recovery and Simona and the team did just that. We got some good laps in and she started to get comfortable. We do have a learning curve as a single-entry rookie, but we are very encouraged with what we have so far.”

Keith Wiggins – HVM Team Owner - “It was another good test for Simona and another demonstration of her talent and what lies ahead. With her approach and our support she will continue to improve and be a serious IndyCar contender.

About HVM Racing: HVM is based in Indianapolis, Indiana. In its nine years of competition, the team has earned six wins, two pole positions, and an additional 16 podiums. The team finished fourth and third, respectively, in the Champ Car championship standings in 2006 and 2007, and earned drivers Mario Dominguez and Robert Doornbos Rookie of the Year honors in 2002 and 2007, respectively. Since joining the IRL Championship in 2008, the team has earned nine top-10 finishes with drivers E.J. Viso and Robert Doornbos.
Source: www.usracetronics.com/news/read/simona-de-silvestro-impresses-at-2010-izod-indycar-open-test

Team Stargate Worlds Driver De Silvestro to Test HVM Racing IndyCar


Team Stargate Worlds and HVM Racing will test Swiss driver Simona De Silvestro, a four-time winner in the 2009 Atlantic Championship, at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway on December 8 and 9. The test will be a combined effort with Team Stargate Worlds, the group that De Silvestro finished third with in this year’s Atlantic standings.

“Simona has been impressive in Atlantics and could certainly have a future in IndyCar,” said Keith Wiggins, HVM Racing team principal and owner. “This trip to Sebring is going to be sort of a litmus test to see if there’s potential for future collaboration with her and Team Stargate Worlds.”

HVM Racing will enter its third season in the IndyCar Series in 2010. The team returns Robert Doornbos to the No. 33 HVM Racing car and is also exploring options for its second car.

Team Stargate Worlds entered the 2009 Atlantic Championship season in partnership with US RaceTronics with one of the world's most talented female race car drivers Simona De Silvestro and Hollywood star turned serious professional racer Frankie Muniz. For more information about Team Stargate Worlds please visit www.usracetronics.com . The Team Stargate Worlds Twitter page can be found at twitter.com/TeamSGW while the team’s Facebook page can be found at www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=70120788804

HVM is based in Indianapolis, Indiana. In its nine years of competition, the team has earned six wins, two pole positions, and an additional 16 podiums. The team finished fourth and third, respectively, in the Champ Car championship standings in 2006 and 2007, and earned drivers Mario Dominguez and Robert Doornbos Rookie of the Year honors in 2002 and 2007, respectively. Since joining the IRL Championship in 2008, the team has earned nine top-10 finishes with drivers E.J. Viso and Robert Doornbos.
Source: www.atlantic-championship.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=113:simona-sebring-hvm-test&catid=12:team-news&Itemid=24

De Silvestro impresses HVM Racing


HVM Racing and Team Stargate Worlds wrapped up a successful test Dec. 9 with Simona de Silvestro behind the wheel. The 21-year-old Swiss driver completed 147 laps over two days at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway.

"She was very impressive," team owner Keith Wiggins said. "From the first laps, she showed she was capable of driving the car fast and she progressed rapidly. She was fast, consistent and gave good driver feedback. In fact, by the second half of the first day, we were so comfortable that we began working on development of our 2010 program using her feedback.

"By day two, I think everyone forgot she wasn't a seasoned professional. Everyone enjoyed working with her."

De Silvestro finished third in the 2009 Atlantic Championship, winning four races for Team Stargate Worlds.

"It was a dream come true to step into the cockpit of the Stargate: Resistance IndyCar," de Silvestro said. "I got comfortable right away and soon came up to speed, and overall thought the test was excellent."

HVM will return Robert Doornbos to the No. 33 HVM Racing car in 2010 and is exploring options for its second car. Team Stargate Worlds' test with HVM Racing coincided with the launch of the Stargate: ResistanceWeb site stargateresistance.com/ , which was displayed on the car.

Stargate: Resistance is an online third-person shooter game being developed based on the popular Stargate sci-fi television franchise. Team Stargate Worlds principals Shane Seneviratne and Imran Safiulla were pleased with the test as well: "These were two very important days for us and our commercial partners. We want to thank Keith and the entire HVM organization for making us feel right at home. Simona got comfortable in the car over the last few days and it has been very exciting to get a glimpse of what may lie ahead. We would like to thank the IndyCar Series for making this test possible."

"fiocco rosa" della serie


Dopo l'italo-svizzera Simona De Silvestro, accordatasi con Cram, fa il suo ingresso nella F.Renault 2000 Italia un'altro driver del gentil sesso. Si chiama Laura Polidori, 16 anni di Aprilia (Roma), che dopo la classica gavetta nel Karting nazionale viene lanciata nella categoria regina di Renault Sport Italia.

La Polidori, in azione ieri sul circuito romano di Vallelunga, parteciperà al campionato con un team tutto suo da cui ne ha ripreso anche le iniziali: LP Competition. Il team (dai colori giallo-neri) sarà gestito da Mario Iacoangeli, già presente in F.Junior Monza con Andrea Belleggia.

Nella foto, Laura Polidori immortalata a Vallelunga nell'abitacolo della sua Tatuus.

Racing Background:

Simona raced Formula BMW and had two third-place finishes in support of the US Grand Prix and is the first woman ever on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway podium. She is the most successful female driver in Formula BMW worldwide. In 2009, she ended the season in 3rd place.

2009 - De Silvestro joined Team Stargate Worlds for the 2009 season and had a solid start to the year with a fifth-place performance after starting eighth in the Sebring season opener… In her second Atlantic visit to Utah’s Miller Motorsports Park, De Silvestro had a history-making weekend. She started the weekend by joining Danica Patrick as the only women in series history to qualify on the pole. She led every lap in the race en route to the second Atlantic victory of her career, and stands alongside Katherine Legge as the only women to win races in series history… De Silvestro had an outstanding weekend in the doubleheader at New Jersey Motorsports Park. In the first race of the weekend (Round 3 of the season), De Silvestro started and finished second. She started from the pole position in the second race and led every lap en route to her second victory of the season. The triumph moved her to the top of the championship standings… De Silvestro kept her hot streak going in Round 5 at Lime Rock, taking the pole position in rainy conditions during qualifying and leading every lap in the race en route to her second consecutive victory and third of the season. The win enabled her to extend her lead in the championship standings to 17 points (89-72) over John Edwards and Jonathan Summerton. De Silvestro became the winningest woman driver in Atlantic history with her third victory of the season and the fourth of her career at Lime Rock Park. That ended at Laguna Seca and she ended up third in the series.

2008 - De Silvestro came out of the box quickly in her second season of Atlantic competition, becoming the second woman in series history to win a race when she took the season-opener after starting second at Long Beach in her debut with Newman Wachs Racing. She earned a total of four top-five results and eight top-10 finishes en route to eighth in the final championship standings.

2007 - As a rookie in the Atlantic Championship, De Silvestro earned two top-10 results and scored championship points in nine of 12 races en route to 19th in the point standings with Walker Racing.

2006: Completed her first season in the Formula BMW USA championship collecting a victory at Lime Rock, six podiums and eleven top-10 finishes en route to a fourth-place finish in the overall point standings. Scored two third-place finishes at the U.S. Grand Prix and made history by becoming the first woman to ever earn a podium result at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

2005: Finished 21st in the Formula Renault 2000 Championship in Italy.

2004: Raced in the French Formula A Championship and finished 15th overall.

2003: Earned a second-place finish in the Trofeo Industria Parma, finished fifth in Wintercup Lonato and was third in Primavera Lonato.

2002: Finished seventh in the Swiss Championship, 13th in Kart-Cup Monaco and second in the Bridgestone-Cup Switzerland.

2001: various karting races

2000: 1st in Western Switzerland Championship

1999: 3rd in Western Switzerland Championship, 13th in Swiss Championship

1998: 4th in Western Switzerland Championship

Career Highlights

  • Signed with Newman Wachs Racing (Paul Newman and Eddie Eachs) for part of the 2008 Atlantic Championship season.
  • Simona became just the second woman to win in the 34-year history of the Atlantic Champsionip winning the 2008 season opener at Long Beach. It was her first win and came the same weekend that Danica Patrick had her first Indycar win in Japan.
  • Signed with Walker Racing in November 2006 to compete as a rookie in the Atlantic Championship
  • Collected one win, six podiums and eleven top-ten finishes in 2006, her rookie season in the Formula BMW USA series
  • Became the first woman to ever earn a podium finish at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a pair of third-place FBMWUSA results at the 2006 U.S. Grand Prix

2012 IRL Results (Grid/Finish/Qualifying Speed/Laps Completed/Status)

Date

Track

Finish
Start
Laps
Status

Mar 25

Streets of St. Petersburg

24
21
22/100
Mechanical

Apr 1

Barber Motorsports Park

20
21
89/90
Running

Apr 15

Streets of Long Beach

17
20
74/84
Mechanical

Apr 29

Streets of San Paulo

24
21
28/75
Contact

May 27

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

32
32
10/200
105% Rule

Jun 3

Detroit Belle Isle Park

13
25
60/60
Running

Jun 9

Texas Motor Speedway

24
25
0/228
DNS

Jun 16

Milwaukee Mile

23
24
62/225
Contact

Jun 23

Iowa Speedway

14
22
244/250

Running

Jul 8

Streets of Toronto

24
25
9/85
Mechanical

Jul 22

JAGflo Speedway Edmonton

23
25
73/75
Running

Aug 5

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

23
22
83/85
Running

Aug 26

Infineon Raceway

17
27
84/85
Running

Sep 2

Streets of Baltimore

22
25
38/75
Contact

Sep 15

Auto Club Speedway

26
26
16/250
Mechanical

 

2011 IRL Results (Grid/Finish/Qualifying Speed/Laps Completed/Status)

Date

Track

Start
Finish
Laps
Status

Mar 27

Streets of St. Petersburg , FL 1.8-mile street course

17
4
200
Running

Apr 10

Barber Motorsports Park, Alabama 2.38-mile road course

13
9
90
Running

Apr 17

Streets of Long Beach Long Beach, CA 1.968-mile street course

18
20
82/85
Running

May 1

Streets of San Paulo, Brazil

13
20
46/55
Running

May 29

Indianapolis Motor Speedway IN, 2.5-mile oval

23
31
44/200
Handling

Jun 11

Texas Motor Speedway 1 Fort Worth, TX 1.5-mile oval

29
26
111/114
Running

Jun 11

Texas Motor Speedway 2 Fort Worth, TX 1.5-mile oval

22
27
111/114
Running

Jun 19

Milwaukee Mile , West Allis, WI 1-mile oval

26
25
58/225
Handling

Jun 25

Iowa Speedway, .875-mile oval Newton, IA .875-mile oval

DNS

Jul 10

Streets of Toronto, 1.721-mile street course

17
10

85/85

Running

Jul 24

JAGflo Speedway at City Centre Airport, Edmonton, AB 1.973-mile airport course

16
24
54/80
Out

Aug 7

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course , Lexington, OH, 2.258-mile road course

14
12
85/85
Running

Aug 14

New Hampshire

26
16
209/215
Running

Aug 28

Infineon Raceway , Sonoma, CA 2.245-mile road course

DNS*

Sep 4

Baltimore

10
12
75/75
Running

Sep 18

Twin Ring Motegi , Japan 1.5-mile oval

26
15
63/63
Running

Oct 2

Kentucky Speedway Sparta, KY 1.5-mile oval

13
25
141/2000
Mechanical

Oct 16

Las Vegas

-
-
-
Cancelled
* Home Land Security prevented her from entering the country.

2010 IRL Results (Grid/Finish/Qualifying Speed/Laps Completed/Status)

Date

Track

Start
Finish
Laps
Status

3/14

Streets of San Paulo, Brazil

11
16
58/61
Running

3/28

St Pete

14
16
99/100
Running

4/11

Barber Motorsports Park

13
21
89/90
Running

4/18

Long Beach

13
17
85
Running.

5/1

Kansas

18
21
197/200
Running

5/30

Indianapolis

22
14
200/200
Running

6/12

Texas

26
24
97/228
Contact

6/20

Iowa

21
20
128/250
Handling

7/4

Watkins Glen

15
24
38/60
Contact.

7/18

Toronto

21
9
85/85
Running

7/25

Edmonton

7
22
87/95
Off course

8/8

Mid-Ohio

10
8
85/85
Running

8/22

Infeneon

11
13
75/75
Running

8/28

Chicagoland

27
23
150/200
Mechanical

9/6

Kentucky

19
25
78/200
Contact

9/18

Japan

24
23
85
Mechanical

10/2

Homestead-Miami

25
23
197/200
Running

2009 Schedule & Results - Formula Atlantic
Date
Track
Finish

Mar 20

Sebring

5

May 17

Miller Park

1

Jun 13

New Jersey

2

Jun 14

New Jersey

1

Jul 18

Lime Rock

1

Jul 25

Edmonton Race 1

2

Jul 26

Edmonton Race 2

3

Aug 8

Mid Ohio

2

Aug 16

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec

1

Aug 30

Mosport

10

Sep 25

Road Atlanta

2

Oct 11

Laguna Seca

DNS*
* If she had started the last race, she only need 6 points to tie the winners and 7 points to win the championship.

2008 Schedule & Results

Date
Track
Start
Finish

Apr 20

Long Beach

2
1

May 18

Monterey

12
10

Jun 29

Mont Tremblant

14
9

Jul 25

Edmonton

.

.

Jul 26

Edmonton

.

.

Aug 9

Elkhart Lake

.

.

Aug 10

Elkhart Lake

.

.

Aug 17

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec

.

.

Sep 14

New Jersey

.

.

Sep 21

Salt Lake City

.

.

Oct 4

Road America

.

.


2007 Schedule & Results


Date

Track

Start
Finish

Apr 8

Las Vegas

8
17

Apr 15

Long Beach

19
28

Apr 22

Houston

13
15

Jun 09

Portland

8
16

Jun 10

Portland

14
16

Jun 24

Cleveland

8
11

Jul 1

Mont Tremblant

6
7

Jul 8

Toronto

9
18

Jul 21

Edmonton

13
13

Jul 22

Edmonton

12
22

Jul 29

San Jose

14
10

Aug 12

Road America

7
22

.

.

.

19

Photo Gallery

Photos: San Jose Grand Prix, July 27-29, 2007 by Gordon Clay

Photos: San Jose Grand Prix, July 29-30, 2006 by Gordon Clay

*    *    *



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