DE SILVESTRO MAKES SUCCESSFUL DEBUT AT IMS Simona Comfortably Completes Rookie Orientation Simona De Silvestro SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 16, 2010) --Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing rookie driver Simona De Silvestro turned another chapter in her ...
DE SILVESTRO MAKES SUCCESSFUL DEBUT AT IMS
Simona Comfortably Completes Rookie Orientation
Simona De Silvestro SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 16, 2010) --Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing rookie driver Simona De Silvestro turned another chapter in her professional racing career as preparation for her Indianapolis 500 debut effort officially began this weekend. The twenty-one year old Swiss driver will attempt to qualify for the 2010 Indianapolis 500 next weekend, but before that happens Simona had to undergo and pass Rookie Orientation. With the biggest race in her career only 2 weeks away, the effort to be one of the privileged few to race in the Indy 500 was at hand.
With dark clouds ever-present, the Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing crew rolled out the #78 Stargate Resistance/Nuclear Clean Air Energy/Entergy car onto the famed track Saturday morning, hoping to complete Rookie Orientation. After having spent part of the morning riding along with legend Rick Mears, who assisted De Silvestro in getting acquainted with the track, Simona took her first laps around the 2.5 miles of track and within a couple of laps she began getting comfortable and setting competitive lap times. After putting 20 laps under her, the rain arrived and soon halted all activity for the rest of the day. At this point, Simona had completed three of the four phases of Rookie Orientation. While disappointed at not having the whole day to complete more laps, Simona and the team were satisfied with the performance.
Sunday allowed for more on-track time and Simona picked up where she had last left off. After a couple of laps she had successfully completed the fourth and final phase of Rookie Orientation. With showers forecasted for later in the day Simona continued on and took full advantage of the rookie practice session and ran a total of 68 laps with a sizeable improvement over the previous day's times. At the conclusion of the event, Simona had laid down a fast lap time of 40.6559 with a top speed of 221.370 mph which put her 3rd fastest on the timesheet. The time gave her the distinction of being the fastest of the rookies that had never raced at the track before.
Keith Wiggins, HVM Racing Team Principal - "Rookie orientation went well and once again Simona showed her relaxed and smooth style. We are very happy with her speed and that of the car at this stage. Now we move to the next, more serious stage of the event; preparation for qualifying. We feel pretty confident."
Simona De Silvestro, Driver No. 78 - "I'm happy that we successfully completed Rookie Orientation today and that it went very well. I felt we ran some very strong laps, both in and out of traffic, and I felt really good accomplishing what we did this weekend. It was very exciting driving here and I'm really enjoying this track, but I'm sure it's going to get more difficult as the days progress with more cars on the track and under traffic conditions, but I'm looking forward to the days ahead."
Imran Safiulla, Team Stargate Worlds Principal - "We have successfully passed a critical stage of our debut effort at the prestigious IMS. I am very pleased with the team's and Simona's preparation coming into this weekend and things have gone well. There's a lot more progress we will have to make this coming week as we head for qualifying."