De Silvestro will start third at St. Pete while Kanaan slots 11th for season opener

KV Racing Technology starts 3rd and 11th at the 2013 IZOD IndyCar season opener in St. Pete

St. Petersburg, FL (Saturday, March 23, 2013) - KV Racing Technology driver's Simona De Silvestro and Tony Kanaan will start tomorrow's IZOD IndyCar season opener 3rd and 11th respectively. For De Silvestro, the driver of the No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car, this is the best qualifying of her IndyCar career; her previous best was 7th at Edmonton in 2010. Her best start here in St. Petersburg was 14th also in 2010.

Simona de Silvestro, KV Racing Technology Chevrolet
Simona de Silvestro, KV Racing Technology Chevrolet

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

When asked how much fun she was having, De Silvestro, in her fourth IndyCar season, said, "It's awesome. The whole weekend has been going really well for us and it's really cool to finally get the results we wanted. Thanks to KV Racing Technology for giving me the opportunity, and to the whole Nuclear Clean Air Energy campaign for supporting me after the year we had last year. It's cool to get the results. It's unbelievable. We were right there with Will and Sato who are usually always up there and it's fun to be up there with them."

De Silvestro and teammate Tony Kanaan battled for 3rd place here in 2011 with Kanaan willing the skirmish and taking the podium, while De Silvestro drove to her best finish of fourth. In eight starts at St. Petersburg, Kanaan has been on pole once (2008) and finished on the podium five times, with his best finish of second in 2005.

Kanaan, who drives the No. 11 Hydroxycut - KV Racing Technology - SH Racing Chevrolet/Firestone entry, always expects to be running up front and was disappointed to not make the Firestone Fast Six today. "It's a shame," he said. "We had very good momentum going on the #11, the Chevy power was great and the Firestone tires help up well. I had a Top-Five car, but we made a minor change between the qualifying sessions that did not go our way, leaving us back in 11th on the grid. Well, tomorrow is another day and I'm sure we'll be fine when the green flag flies."

KV Racing team manager Steve Moore is happy with the success the team has shown in the first two days of the season. "A very good day for KV Racing," Moore said, "everyone's very excited with the results for the day. Obviously it shows all the team's hard work and testing through the off season is starting to pay off. We're just looking forward to tomorrow. Hopefully we can carry the momentum the team built over the winter through the rest of the season."

"I think it was a good day overall," team co-owner Imran Safiulla said. "We're very pleased. It was a fantastic job by the boys on the engineering side and Simona did a hell of a job staying composed. This partnership with Chevy has been great for us and we look forward to good things there. We missed a little on the No. 11 car, but I think we'll be there during race conditions tomorrow. We're looking forward to hopefully keeping both noses clean and bringing them home."

Both drivers had a full contingent of sponsors on hand today to cheer them on. Kanaan welcomed new sponsor Hydroxycut and supporters from Entergy, AREVA, and other Nuclear Clean Air sponsors were at the track to cheer De Silvestro's success.

Kanaan and De Silvestro will make their season debuts tomorrow when the 2013 IZOD IndyCar season kicks off in St. Petersburg, FL. The race will air on NBC Sports Network with coverage starting at noon.

KV Racing Technology

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Kanaan , Eric Gilbert , Simona de Silvestro
Teams KV Racing Technology
Article type Qualifying report
Tags chevrolet, de silvestro, indycar, kanaan, kv racing technology, st. petersburg