SIMONA DE SILVESTRO ENJOYS CAREER BEST INDYCAR FINISH ROOKIE FINISHES 9TH AT TORONTO TORONTO, Canada (July 18, 2010) - - Qualifying in the 21st spot for today's Honda Indy Toronto, Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing's Simona De Silvestro knew she...
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO ENJOYS CAREER BEST INDYCAR FINISH ROOKIE FINISHES 9TH AT TORONTO
TORONTO, Canada (July 18, 2010) - - Qualifying in the 21st spot for today's Honda Indy Toronto, Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Racing's Simona De Silvestro knew she had her work cut out for her. After three challenging races, Simona and team were determined to have their true potential accurately reflected in their finishing position of this 85 lap race. Also on the line is the IndyCar Series "Rookie of the Year" honor. If Simona was to remain in the hunt, a strong finish was needed.
At the drop of the green flag, Simona maintained her 21st position and began settling in for the long race despite a hard charge from Hideki Mutoh for her position. Simona's pace continued steady until her first pit stop on lap # 18. She reentered the race in 20th, a gain of one position. By Lap # 38, Simona moved up to the 16th position. With Toronto native Paul Tracy, a former winner of this race, closely behind her Simona held her speed and focus, keeping a comfortable gap between them. Simona pitted on lap # 51 together with a group of cars and rejoined the race in the 17th spot and once again gained positions. Simona's charge forward continued and she was solidly in the 14th spot by lap # 63. On the next lap Simona narrowly escaped being collected by Tracy, who tried to take away her position by out-braking her going into the turn. Now, in 12th, Simona continued her hard charge and by the last few laps she climbed to 9th where she finished for her first Top-10 finish of her Rookie season. Her best finish prior to this race was 14th at this year's Indianapolis 500 where she earned the 2010 Indy 500 Chase Rookie of the Year honors. The 9th place finish also represents the best finish for an IndyCar rookie this year, which should put her right back in the hunt for the 2010 IndyCar Series "Rookie of the Year" honors.
Simona and team now move on to next weekend's race, the Honda Edmonton Indy.
Simona De Silvestro, Driver No. 78: "It was a nice recovery from where we were when the weekend started. We struggled a lot during qualifying but ended up 9th for the race. It was a smart race and the crew did a great job in the pits. The car got progressively better and I was able to put up some fast laps and even passed a couple of people in the pits and on-track. I am really happy with the outcome. I think if we can start up front more and have just as good of a race at Edmonton, that would be awesome."
Keith Wiggins, HVM Racing Team Principal: "It was a good recovery after a tough qualifying. The car worked well and Simona used her head and drove a great race. This is a tough track on your first visit. The stops and strategy were great and this time we delivered at the finish."
Imran Safiulla, Team Stargate Worlds Team Principal:" This was a well-deserved result. Simona and the team did a great job and the race unfolded in our favor. We will take this positive result and build on it."