It wasn't an easy day for the Lotus HVM Racing #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car at today's Honda Indy Toronto. A day that dawned bright and sunny and full of hope, quickly took a turn for the worse when De Silvestro hit a tire that was knocked into the racing line by Sebastian Bourdais. De Silvestro hit the wall hard and sustained considerable damage to the car.
The team worked frantically, managing to repair the car just as the grid was being set. De Silvestro started 25th after being assessed a 10-spot penalty for the unapproved engine change that brought her a bit more power this weekend. On lap 8 she reported an issue with power and was brought into the pit on lap 9. The team tried to work on the car in the pit, but eventually took the car back to the garage to try more repairs. They were unable to complete the necessary repairs in time to rejoin the race.
"I'm pretty disappointed," De Silvestro said. "Something happened with the engine. We were hoping for a good finish, trying to stay out of trouble. It's hard to say right now, we just did a couple of laps. We'll have to see what happened and go to Edmonton and try to do better."
Team owner, Keith Wiggins was equally displeased with the early exit. "It's just very disappointing," he said. "After the incident this morning in which we sustained a lot of damage, the guys did a fantastic job to put it (the car) all back together and have it ready. Then to have an engine issue is bitterly disappointing and we have to do something about it."
Tom Brown, technical director for Lotus HVM Racing summed up the weekend. "It was a tough weekend," he said. "We had a little bit of help with the engine that got us headed somewhat in the right direction, but we obviously need quite a bit more. The guys worked real hard and never gave up. I'm very proud of them. We had an unfortunate incident this morning where we hit a tire on track and now it looks like we've got an engine issue that's put us out of the race. I guess we'll look forward to Edmonton."
The team next travels to Edmonton, AB on July 22nd. The race will air on NBC Sports Network at 2:45 p.m. (ET).