Rain comes too late in Edmonton to help Lotus HVM in qualifying

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Simona de Silvestro, HVM Racing Lotus
Simona de Silvestro, HVM Racing Lotus

Photo by: Rebecca McKay

Edmonton, AB (Saturday, July 21, 2012) - The rain came too late to help the Lotus HVM Racing team with qualifying. The #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car, while making progress, is still down on power compared to the other cars in the field and had hopes that the rain would prove the equalizer.

Unfortunately for Swiss driver Simona De Silvestro, her group's session was dry. "Well," she said, "it's really disappointing. We were hoping the rain would come a little earlier and help us out. The car is really good, but we're still down on power and that hurts here because of the long straightaways. Rain would have been good. I think we have a good car for the race. We'll just have to wait and see what the weather does. Hopefully we'll have a good finish."

The team qualified 23rd, but will likely start at the back of the field since they will incur a ten-spot penalty for an unapproved engine change prior to the start of the event. Lotus provided the team with a new updated engine, which members of the crew installed on Wednesday.

Team owner, Keith Wiggins, is hopeful that the new engine will lessen the gap to the other teams. "We continue to struggle, but we're still working on improvements. We're not giving up on it. We're still making small progress, but obviously the others are as well. I think the gap is less, but we still need more."

With three long straights on the 2.224-mile track and only a 10 percent chance of rain tomorrow, it looks like the team will have to focus on strategy and maximizing the setup on the car as the under-powered engine will continue to be an issue.

Tom Brown, the team's technical director, isn't counting on help from the weather. "We're working hard to maximize and get everything we can out of the car," he said. "The guys timed the qualifying to perfection. We had a good run, but three long straights here make it hard with some of the issues we have; top-line speed and whatever. We actually could do well. We ran well and gave it the best we could."

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About this article
Series INDYCAR
Article type Qualifying reports
Tags de silvestro, hvm, lotus