Simona de Silvestro Aims to Continue Top-Ten Streak at Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
Long Beach, CA - April 16, 2011 - Simona de Silvestro's sophomore season is off to a great start with two consecutive top-ten finishes. It started with a career-best, fourth-place finish at the IZOD IndyCar Series season-opener in St. Petersburg, FL, and was followed by a ninth-place finish to end a hard-fought race at Barber Motorsports Park last weekend.
This Sunday, de Silvestro will pilot the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, a 1.9-mile, temporary street circuit. Initial practice sessions didn't yield the results that the team anticipated, but the crew worked hard to make changes for qualifying.
DeSilvestro indicated that the first session was tough, but things were moving in the right direction for the second.
"We definitely improved the car," she said. "I think we still have work to do overnight, but the changes we made in between sessions were good. We'll keep working and see what we get."
The team was optimistic heading into qualifying, but minor contact with the wall in turn eight ended the run abruptly.
"Unfortunately, we bent the suspension and didn't have enough time in the session to fix it," said de Silvestro. "It's a shame. I don't think we had the pace to get into the fast six, but I think a little bit better than where we finished, for sure. So we're going to have to have a good race tomorrow - be smart out there and try to finish well."