Lotus HVM Racing Disappointed At St. Pete
St. Petersburg, FL (Sunday, March 25, 2012) - With high hopes going into today's Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HVM Racing #78 team suffered a setback when the car stalled on track early in the race. Unable to restart the car in pit lane, the team pushed the car to the garage, working frantically to fix the issue and get driver Simona De Silvestro back into the race. Unfortunately, they weren't able to get back out prior to the cut off of 15 laps to go.
After working so hard to get ready for the race, the disappointment was intense throughout the team, but especially for De Silvestro whose excitement level was high going into today's race. "I'm pretty disappointed with not finishing the race," she said. "We improved the car for the race and we were doing ok lap times. We just have to keep working hard for the next race and I think we'll get there."
Team Manger Shane Seneviratne, while dissatisfied with the result, looked at the positives the weekend offered the team and addressed the issue that ended their day early. "We've learned a lot," he said. "We haven't had much testing, so this whole race weekend was an opportunity to learn about the engine package. We made it through all the sessions without any problems. Unfortunately, we had an issue in the race that resulted in a loss of fuel and oil pressure. Now we just have to focus on the next race and try to do our best at Barber."
Echoing Seneviratne was Team Owner Keith Wiggins who said, "Obviously the main focus was to be reliable and build from there, so it's disappointing that we weren't able to finish the race. On a good note saw some other Lotus cars make some good progress. We have to build on that and keep working hard for the next race."
The team hosted guests from Nuclear Clean Air Energy sponsors Entergy, Areva, Holtec, WTS and Rev 1, as well as a large group from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Guests packed the stands behind the team's pit box cheering boisterously for De Silvestro and continued to enjoy the excitement of the race even after the Nuclear Clean Air Energy car was retired.
The team, sponsors and Simona's fans are now looking forward to next weekend's race at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. Tune in when the race airs Sunday, April 1 at 2:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports.