Simona De Silvestro Gains Valuable Experience and Continues to Impress Late Race Spin Doesn't Detract From Impressive Performance Birmingham, AL (April 11, 2010) - After a 13th place qualifying effort yesterday in preparation for today's...
Simona De Silvestro Gains Valuable Experience and Continues to Impress
Late Race Spin Doesn't Detract From Impressive Performance
Birmingham, AL (April 11, 2010) - After a 13th place qualifying effort yesterday in preparation for today's inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by Legacy Credit Union at Barber Motorsports Park, Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing driver Simona De Silvestro arrived at the beautiful track today looking forward to a top-10 result for her 3rd career IZOD IndyCar Series start. With qualifying position being critical at this track, the challenges for De Silvestro were high but the youngster was looking to overcome them.
At the drop of the green flag De Silvestro slotted herself into 14th position. The team had De Silvestro on a fuel conservation strategy and with that in mind De Silvestro was able to move up to the 5th spot by lap 11 after a yellow flag and ran strong in that position. Her 2-pit stop strategy continued to play out throughout the race. De Silvestro would pit on lap 22 and once again on lap 60. She continued her fast pace while having her first experience of conserving fuel and staving off tough competitors. With 5 laps left in the race, as she was defending the 11th spot from Ryan Hunter Reay, De Silvestro had a misstep in her downshift which caused her to spin the No. 78 Stargate Resistance Honda Dallara. While the incident cost her some positions, an undeterred De Silvestro, having gone a lap down, stayed out on track and went on to finish the race in the 21st spot and still gained a wealth of knowledge and experience.
The team will pack up and head to the sunny shores of the Pacific for Round 4 of the IZOD IndyCar Series season at the 36th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Simona De Silvestro, Driver No. 78 - "We had a pretty good race going there for a while. We were trying to save fuel during the race, which is the first time I have ever had to do that. I learned a lot. We were running pretty well until I made an unfortunate mistake on my downshift. Needed 2nd gear but I downshifted too many times and it went to 1st and I spun. I'm really disappointed for my guys who worked so hard all weekend to get to this point. I want to thank them for that. I won't be making that mistake anymore. Now we move on to another race and another chance for a better result."
Keith Wiggins, HVM Racing Team Principal - "Once again we had a good race playing out. We were competitive on a good strategy and Simona was doing a great job, while learning a new challenge of conserving fuel. Final outcome is disappointing but we continue to see Simona develop and impress."
Imran Safiulla, Team Stargate Worlds Principal - "That was gut wrenching. The team had done a great job all weekend and Simona was driving a great race while having to learn a very important driving technique; fuel conservation with low compromise on lap times. Her mistake in the final few laps was unfortunate, but it reminds us of how new everything is to her and how far she has progressed in a short period of time."