SIMONA DE SILVESTRO'S RUN IN CHICAGO CUT SHORT Photo Courtesy of the IZOD IndyCar Series JOLIET, IL (August 30 2010) - Returning to ovals and making her debut at the Chicagoland Speedway, Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing's Simona De Silvestro had...
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO'S RUN IN CHICAGO CUT SHORT
Photo Courtesy of the IZOD IndyCar Series JOLIET, IL (August 30 2010) - Returning to ovals and making her debut at the Chicagoland Speedway, Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing's Simona De Silvestro had high hopes for a strong showing. Also on the team's mind, a strong finish could close the gap for the IndyCar Series "Rookie of the Year" honors, with only 4 races remaining. Unfortunately, a mechanical failure would end her run on Saturday night, but no ground was lost in the "Rookie of the Year" chase as the other rookies in contention met similar fates.
After qualifying 27th, Simona started the race and immediately went to work on moving forward through the pack, charging up to 22nd position by lap 4. Then on lap 5, Will Power got sideways and forced trailing drivers to slow and in the process two drivers made contact with the wall and each other, causing the first yellow.
All of this action happened right in front of Simona, and she successfully navigated her No. 78 Stargate Resistance car through it all without taking damage. The same could not be said about Simona, who took a shot to the helmet from debris. Fortunately, she was ok and continued her charge. On lap 9, under yellow, Simona pitted to top off the fuel, get fresh tires and get out of sequence with the leaders without losing positions. Simona continued her charge and by lap 36, she was in 14th. With the car stable and comfortable, the team's strategy was to remain in the leaders' draft and then race hard the final 25 laps. Unfortunately, something failed in the drive train, ending the race prematurely and handing the team a 23rd place finish.
Simona De Silvestro, Driver No. 78: "Practice and qualifying was challenging, but the team worked very hard to ensure we had a good car by the race. That is what made it so disappointing to have it end that way. We have a lot of work ahead of us to get ready for Kentucky this weekend. Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing crew has been resilient all year and I'm sure we'll be back for Kentucky stronger and wiser as a result of this weekend."
Keith Wiggins, HVM Racing Team Owner: "We knew this and Kentucky would be our toughest challenges this year. Nevertheless we wanted to have a comfortable race car for Simona and be there at the end. As our close rivals fell out we were hoping for a solid finish, but it did not happen. A surprising outcome, but time to move on. We did however progress in our learning together for the next one."
Imran Safiulla, Team Stargate Worlds Team Principal: "With our limited ability to test, we started the weekend on the back foot and pretty much finished on it. Simona did a good job and kept her nose clean throughout the time she was out there, and we were set to finish in a reasonable position until we lost power which ended our race prematurely. We have learned a few valuable things that will help our performance. We hope to have a better outing in Kentucky."
The next race is the Indy 300 at the Kentucky Speedway, on Saturday, September 4th.