SIMONA DE SILVESTRO ENJOYS BEST QUALIFYING RESULT EDMONTON, AB (July 24, 2010) -- The quest for the 2010 'Rookie of the Year" award took a positive step last week for Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing's Simona De Silvestro, but the momentum needs...
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO ENJOYS BEST QUALIFYING RESULT
EDMONTON, AB (July 24, 2010) -- The quest for the 2010 'Rookie of the Year" award took a positive step last week for Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing's Simona De Silvestro, but the momentum needs to continue going forward if the award is to stay within her grasp. While having visited the 1.96 mile temporary street/airport course before in her career, the young IndyCar rookie now finds herself driving a new and a more powerful car. With 3 practice sessions this weekend, Simona was looking forward to using all of the experience gained and applying it for today's qualifying session.
During the three practice sessions she continued to improve steadily, finishing up with a time of 1:02.9055 and without having to run new tires to achieve it, compared to the majority of other drivers. With a total of 65 laps, Simona was prepared and looking forward to today's qualifying session
Simona ventured onto the track for qualifying and immediately shot up to the top of the time charts. Her times stayed among the top-5 spots but with 3 minutes of the 15-minute session remaining, Simona slid down to the 6th position. With seconds left, and on her last lap, she delighted on-lookers and shot straight up to the top of the timesheet with a fast lap time of 1:101:7385. The session ended with Simona topping her group, marking her best first round qualifying position this year. This was the second time she would advance into the 2nd round of qualifying in her rookie season. During the next round of qualifying, the team was looking to get her into the fast six, but knew they would be slightly hindered by having used both new sets of red option tires in the earlier session. Simona entered the timesheet in the 6th spot and slipped down to the 10th spot with time winding down. The team made some slight adjustments just before her final run and, as the time expired, Simona drove a very strong lap that was good enough for 7th spot, one tenth from 6th on her used red tires. For Simona this was her best qualifying effort thus far this year. She will also start the race tomorrow, as the top rookie.
Simona De Silvestro, Driver No. 78: "It was a very good qualifying session and I think we can be happy with that, especially since we were up against the big teams. I think if we could have kept another set of tires we could have advanced further, but it is what it is and we will learn from this and take a 7th place starting position, which again we are excited about. A big thank you to the crew, my sponsors and the Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing organization."
Keith Wiggins, HVM Racing Team Owner: "It was a great job by Simona and the team. We had the pace and she maximized it. We played cautious and used both sets of red tires in our first session, but it became clear that we had ample speed and if we had saved a set for the second session we would have been in the third and top six. One tenth off on used tires is pretty good and we are happy with seventh this time. Next time we will see!"
Imran Safiulla, Team Stargate Worlds Team Principal: "This was very strong effort from Simona and the Team. She did an amazing job behind the wheel and rewarded us with our best qualifying position so far. As a team we have worked very hard, and its greatly satisfying when the driver delivers in this fashion. We are proud of her effort. We hope to take this strong starting position into tomorrow and garner a respectable finish."