DE SILVESTRO QUALIFIES FOR FIRST INDY 500 First Time Effort Yields Success SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 23, 2010) - It wasn't without the drama and tension that usually accompanies Pole and Bump Days at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but Team ...
DE SILVESTRO QUALIFIES FOR FIRST INDY 500
First Time Effort Yields Success
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 23, 2010) - It wasn't without the drama and tension that usually accompanies Pole and Bump Days at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing rookie driver Simona De Silvestro has solidified her starting spot for the 94th Annual Indianapolis 500 and joins an elite group of world class racers.
Simona and the team arrived at the track early Saturday morning under cloudy skies and cool temperatures. With the enthusiastic crowd already arriving at the track, the day was starting to shape up to be a special one. The team was looking to take advantage of the hours available before qualifying so Simona and the team participated in the morning practice. After 33 laps she had a fast lap time of 225.206 mph which put her 19th on the timesheets out of 36 cars running.
For Qualifying, temperatures were considerably hotter as Simona slotted into line in her #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy/Entergy car, ready for her first qualifying effort. As the minutes ticked away Simona reached the front of the line and despite the crash of Mario Moraes, which occurred directly before her, Simona kept her focus and began lapping around the 2.5 mile track. Lap one was timed at 224.389 mph, her second was 224.277 mph, her third was a solid 224.075 mph and finally her last lap speed was 224.171 mph. The 4-lap effort yielded an average lap time of 224.228 mph and put her initially in the 15th spot. With no guarantees, but with the knowledge of having the ability to post a better time, the team began preparations to take the car out once again to requalify if needed; however it would turn out that Simona's time would be enough to ease her in the 22nd spot.
Although the 22nd spot appeared to be a safe slot in for qualifying, the team withheld their celebration until all cars who had not yet qualified underwent today's Bump Day qualifying effort. As soon as the last car completed its run, the team joined Simona in celebrating their Indy 500 qualification.
Keith Wiggins, HVM Racing Team Principal - "We came here with the goal of being in the top 24 on day one, but we know we could go faster than we qualified. Of course, you want more speed but we stuck with the speed we qualified and so we are happy. Our focus now is on the race and we believe we have a fast race car."
Simona De Silvestro, Driver No. 78 - "It's an honor to be part of this historical race. I am very excited to have qualified and, provided everything goes well tomorrow, I am happy to be starting in the inside row. I hope this will give us an advantage. Starting the race in my first attempt makes this achievement even more sweeter. I cannot thank my team and sponsors enough for working so hard and for believing in me, it's an honor."
Imran Safiulla, Team Stargate Worlds Principal - "This is a very big day for us. The Team has done an amazing job preparing for this big event and Simona cannot be complimented enough. We had a very specific goal of wanting to get into the field on the first day. We are a bit disappointed that we were not the fastest rookie, as we might have had better pace on another run; we chase sanity over vanity. I hope we will be able to build on this and have a good race."