Indianapolis, IN (Sunday, May 27, 2012) - Lotus HVM Racing and the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy IZOD IndyCar went into today's Indianapolis 500 hoping to run a trouble-free, consistent pace while staying within the league mandated 105 percent of the fastest car on track with a goal of finishing the race. Unfortunately, the race pace was somewhat faster than anticipated and driver Simona De Silvestro found herself being black-flagged early in the day.
"I'm pretty disappointed to get black-flagged after only a few laps," the Swiss driver said. "We were trying to keep up pace, but unfortunately right now we don't have the pace, so now we have to work hard to get to the pace that we need. It's a disappointment because the team worked so hard all month and when you can't fight for anything it's really, really tough. So, we just have to kind of be patient with it and we have to work even harder to mask a little bit the lack of speed we have right now."
The team had over 500 guests for the month, with over 150 of them here today to watch De Silvestro and the team compete. De Silvestro met with guests from Entergy, AREVA, Rev1, TDS, NEI, Enercon and WTS this morning explaining race strategy, signing autographs and posing for photos. While disappointed that the day ended so early, everyone was excited to have had the opportunity to experience the excitement of the day.
Team owner Keith Wiggins had hopes for a longer outing as well. "I expected us to get up to speed a little bit better in the beginning and we didn't so we fell outside their rule," he said. "On the other hand I suspect it was more planned than we knew. We hadn't even been lapped and we weren't in anyone's way. They made a decision and that was that."
"It was disappointing in many ways," Tom Brown, Lotus HVM Racing technical director said. "The car was clearly good. We knew it was good. We knew Simona was on her game. We have issues which we have to resolve and those issues will have to be resolved pretty quickly to get us back and be competitive where we should be."
With the early exit, the team must now look forward to next week's Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.
"Obviously very disappointing; we were hoping to race for a bit longer," said team manager Shane Seneviratne. "All we can do now is look forward to Detroit. We all know where we stand with our power situation so if we could get a good result out of Detroit that will highlight how good the team is and how good Simona is. We're looking forward to putting the car in the middle of the pack in Detroit."