Sao Paulo, Brazil (April 29, 2012) - Lotus HVM Racing had an early exit from today's Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle. The #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car was running well, having climbed to 16th place before driver Simona De Silvestro reported an issue with sixth gear. De Silvestro pitted and it was determined that she would be able to continue the race, provided she didn't attempt to use sixth gear. Unfortunately, only ten laps later, the car stalled on track and could not be restarted, thus ending the day for De Silvestro.
"It was difficult for sure," she said. "I think we ran pretty good in practice this morning and we were looking forward to having a good race. The guys on the team have been doing a great job and working really hard. I feel bad for them that we couldn't finish the race. Now we just have to go back and work hard to get everything working right for Indy."
With high hopes for a strong finish, team manager Shane Seneviratne was equally disappointed with the results. "It was a disappointing weekend. I feel bad for the crew and Simona, they worked real hard. Now we have to look forward to the Indy 500. We're going to prepare hard, it's a lot of work ahead. We'll try to do our best for Simona and our sponsors."
Echoing the sentiment was team owner, Keith Wiggins. "We're bitterly disappointed," he said. "We're just continuing to have engine control issues that result in failures and that's very, very disappointing. That's about all we can say, disappointing."
The team flies back to Indianapolis tonight and will be back at work preparing for the 2012 Indianapolis 500 as soon as the equipment arrives from Brazil. Lotus HVM racing will begin practicing at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 12, 2012.