Engine change puts Lotus HVM Racing at back of Sonoma field

De Silvestro Qualifies 25th for GoPro Indy GP of Sonoma

Simona de Silvestro, Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HVM Racing Lotus
Simona de Silvestro, Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HVM Racing Lotus

Photo by: Jeff Davidson

Sonoma, CA (Saturday, August 25, 2012) - 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: Lotus HVM Racing

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About this article
Series INDYCAR
Article type Qualifying report
Tags de silvestro, hvm, lotus, sears point