IZOD IndyCar Driver Simona De Silvestro Celebrates Her Birthday in Baltimore
Baltimore, MD (September 1, 2012) - 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. "
Source: HVM Racing