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  1. The end of a very difficult season for Simona De Silvestro and the Lotus HVM Racing team. De Silvestro struggled with over-boost issues on the engine of her #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car from the start of the race. We had over-boost issues right away and started to work on it," said Tom Brown the team's technical director. "It's an issue that plagued us all weekend. We had no pulling power and that was not a good situation to be in at this track." Keith Wiggins, team owner, felt the situation with the engine was not something the team could safely overcome. "The engine had issues with over-boost making it difficult to maintain pace in traffic," he said. "We felt it better to come in and not affect the outcome of the race. We were pretty sure that we couldn't go the distance so it made no sense for us to put Simona in a situation that could get her or one of the other competitors into trouble." This has been De Silvestro's most difficult season with tonight's finale indicative of what she and the team have had to struggle with. "It was a frustrating season, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger," she said. "We worked really hard to get the car ready and hoped that we would be competitive. I feel bad for the team. They worked crazy hours replacing two engines this weekend and it would have been nice to have been able to finish the season on a high note. We've learned a lot this season and have to take that into what we expect to be a much better year next year." Shane Seneviratne, team manager, reflected on the season. "It's a disappointing end to a disappointing season, but that's what it is. We just have to look forward to next year. A big thanks to the hard work and dedication of the HVM Racing crew. They kept on working hard despite all the problems we've had throughout the year. I sincerely want to thank them for all their hard work, Simona for hanging in there, and our sponsors and fans for all their support." The team will take a few days off before moving their focus toward the 2013 IZOD IndyCar season. Simona and the team would truly like to thank their fans for the outpouring of support this season.
  2. A Good Drive for Simona Despite an Early Finish The Grand Prix of Baltimore was one of those races that kept you sitting on the edge of your seat the whole time. “What a race!” was on everyone’s lips when the checker dropped. Nine caution flags and twelve lead changes along with crashes and spins. Lotus driver Simona De Silvestro (#78 Lotus HVM Racing) was hoping this would be a good day for her, as the weather forecast was calling for rain. Unfortunately, the heavy rains did not come in time. Only light sprinkles covered the track, and only for a few laps. And even though De Silvestro had to start from the back of the grid again for today’s race (because of a 10-grid penalty for an unapproved engine change), she did manage to move up all the way to 14th place at halfway through the race. De Silvestro and her #78 Lotus machine drove a good consistent race and stayed out of trouble, while other cars were busy getting caught in the action. But, on lap 38, she did what many other drivers had done, she got into the wall coming out of the famous chicane. That ended her race and put her in 22nd position. There was disappointment on everyone’s face in the Lotus HVM Racing pit box. After a long quiet moment, De Silvestro spoke: “Well, I’m disappointed because I made a mistake. I hit the curb in the chicane and it ended our day. Until then it was kind of a crazy race. We made some positions; we don’t know where we would have finished. This time it’s kind of my fault. It’s a shame because we were doing really well. Now you just go to the next one I guess.” Keith Wiggins, Lotus HVM team owner had high hopes for a good result since De Silvestro drives this track so well. "As the race turned out we had a pretty good opportunity," he said. "Like everyone else, we just needed to stay out of trouble. We looked quite good early. We had a solid strategy that was playing out, but we weren't able to stay clean until the end. It's just unfortunate that it ended that way." HVM team manager, Shane Seneviratne was disappointed as well considering how well De Silvestro has been driving this season. "It's obviously disappointing," he said. "Simona has driven great all year. She made a mistake here that put her out of the race. We had a couple of incidents earlier on, but they were small ones. The team changed the front wing out and we recovered from it. I'm disappointed for all the sponsors that are here and want to thank them for all their support. We'll do our best at Fontana." Tom Brown, team technical director for Lotus HVM Racing agrees that De Silvestro had a good shot at a very strong finish. "It was becoming an interesting race," he said. "Multiple strategies were being played out among the teams. We were looking very good. Sim was pushing hard and got bit by the chicane around mid-way. As always we pushed and worked hard all weekend to keep maximizing what we had." Olivier Picquenot, IndyCar Manager for Lotus Racing, commented: “Unfortunately Simona had to start from the back of the grid again after a misfortune in qualifying and a second 10-grid penalty for the same engine change. She had a good start and stayed with the group but broke her front wing from contact with Takuma Sato. That changed the strategy and the chance to stay with the pack. We hoped for rain at the start to give us a chance to be back with Simona’s driving style in the rain. After a few accidents from other competitors and some restarts, she gained some precious positions and was running with the same pace as the front runners even with the second front wing broken from touching Dario Franchitti in turn one, at a restart. For once, everybody was happy to see Simona/ Lotus HVM racing with the possibility to finish better than 15 and take some crucial points before the end of the season, and maybe have the chance to gain some championship positions and qualify for next year’s leader circle. Unfortunately, on Lap 38, Simona was airborne at the chicane and landed in the wall as well as many other drivers. But that’s racing.” The end of the 75-lap race was just as exciting as the whole race itself with Ryan-Hunter Reay (#28 - Andretti Autosport) taking the lead on a restart with just two laps to go. Ryan Briscoe (#2 –Team Penske) finished second followed by Simon Pagenaud (#77- Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports). The Lotus HVM Racing Team will be heading back west for the season finale in Fontana on Saturday, September 15th. The race will be televised by NBC Sports Network at p.m. (ET) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network on SiriusXM Channel 94 (XM) and 211 (Sirius) Race statistics Race distance: 150 miles Cautions: 9 for 24 laps Laps: 75 Lead changes: 12 among 7 drivers Time of race: 2:09:02 Average speed: 71.132
  3. Lotus’s Simona de Silvestro had to start at the back of the grid for Sunday’s Californian round following an unapproved engine change, but bounced back to gain ten positions in the race. Good strategy and perfect pit stops made a big difference for the Swiss driver and her Lotus HVM Racing team during the action-filled race at the Infineon Raceway. After 85 laps, De Silvestro finished in 17th position. She performed a nice pass on Ed Carpenter’s eponymous #20 car near the end of the race. Simona de Silvestro: “I guess P17 is okay; I think it was all we could get. We’re still getting passed like we’re standing still on the straightaways, but I think it was a good weekend. We kept our heads during the race and towards the end the yellows starting coming out. That really helped us with our fuel mileage. It was a good race.” Keith Wiggins, team owner: “The team did a good job. Simona drove a good solid race, so we were able to make the best of it. Our windows were tight on fuel, but we managed to keep it within the three, so that was good. It was a good result for the circumstances we had. We don't want to get too excited about 17th, but I think it was the best result we could get today with what we had.” Vincent Pereme, Lotus’s motorsport engine manager: “We still need to improve, together with the team and the driver, the way we are using our push-to-pass as it seems that we are not using it in the best possible way. We are well aware that our motor is clearly down on power compared to the competitors, but we will keep fighting.”
  4. Lotus HVM Racing unable to utilise strategy as the Mid-Ohio Indy race runs green from flag to flag The day in Mid-Ohio started out with the IndyCar warm-up session being delayed because of pouring rain, thunder and lightning, and a few power outages. When the Indy cars did go out to warm up, Lotus driver Simona De Silvestro took advantage of the wet track and clocked the fourth best time of the session. Unfortunately for the Lotus HVM Racing team, the weather cleared, and by the time the green flag flew, the Indy cars were running on a dry track. Ambient temperature was 76 degrees with a relative humidity of 83 percent. The race was somewhat of a repeat of the last race at Edmonton. For the second time in a row, the whole race ran green from flag to flag. Without any cautions, the Lotus HVM Racing team was not able to apply strategy and Simona de Silvestro (#78) finished the race in 23rd position. However, the Lotus car showed great reliability and despite everything, Simona did put in some good lap times. “It’s really disappointing,” De Silvestro said. “We weren’t able to use the strategy that we wanted because there weren’t any yellows. It doesn’t matter how hard I drive, without a yellow we can’t get anywhere.” Keith Wiggins, HVM team owner, had this to say: “It’s a bit of the same story as the last race. Unfortunately, it went green the whole way, so that meant that we were pretty well forced into a full-fuel three-stop strategy of the other manufacturers. That didn’t really give us any options to do a strategy, so we ended up with what we had. Her first stint was pretty impressive. The lap times she did were in the 68’s when we were on our own, the same as the leaders. But there’s not much else we can do.” HVM Technical Director Tom Brown: “Just another tough one with it going green all the way. We tried to pull some strategy but we needed the yellows to pull it off. Strategy is one of the few tools we have in the bag and we can’t use it. But, it is good to see green-flag racing all the way. Hopefully, one of these days, we’ll get what we need.” Director of Motorsports for Lotus, Claudio Berro commented: “Lotus will continue to develop the engine for Simona. We want to do our very best for her, so that she and the Lotus HVM Racing team can show some progress and achieve better results in the upcoming races.” Over the wall One thing we can say about the Lotus HVM Racing team is that their pit stops are always fast and well done. The Lotus HVM crew takes pride in doing great pit stops. They practice every time De Silvestro comes into the pits during on-track sessions. Front end mechanic, Mike Howells, better known as “Miguel” started going over the wall to change tires, a year ago, here in Mid-Ohio. “After doing this over and over, it becomes habit, he said. We rely on muscle memory for the right moves. Our instinct guides us. Our whole team works well together because we’re a family. We’re Simona’s racing family.” Aside from changing Simona’s inside rear tire at record speed, Miguel is also the guy who straps Simona into her #78 Lotus machine, when the Swiss Miss gets into the car. “My job is to make sure she is as comfortable as possible and strapped in safely, said Miguel. I figure if she is comfortable, she can focus totally on her driving. We have this quiet ritual, Simona and I, when I’m strapping her down. I do the same thing, the same way, every time. We’ve gained trust in each other over the years.” The top three finishers for today’s IZOD IndyCar race were Scott Dixon (a fourth win in a row at Mid-Ohio for #9 Target Chip Ganassi), followed by Will Power (#12 – Team Penske), and Simond Pagenaud (#77 – Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports). The Lotus HVM Racing Team will be racing next at the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on 26 August at the raceway in Sonoma. Race statistics Time of race: 1:39:48 Cautions: None Lead changes: 2 Average Speed: 115.179 mph
  5. Simona is looking forward to Mid-Ohio With 4 races to go in the IZOD IndyCar 2012 season, Lotus driver Simona De Silvestro is hoping for good results in this weekend’s upcoming race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio. ”I’m looking forward to Mid-Ohio. It has always been a good track for me; it’s a lot of fun to drive there! The team has been working hard and I’m sure they’ll give me a really good car again this weekend. We have a lot of guests coming and we’re going to do our best to have a good finish for them.” One test day at Mid-Ohio Even though Simona de Silvestro (#78 – Lotus HVM Racing) is very familiar with the Mid-Ohio Sports Car course, she’s only had one day of testing at Mid-Ohio this year, during the week prior to the Toronto race. Lotus IndyCar Manager, Olivier Picquenot: “Everyone at Lotus is cheering for Simona to do well this weekend. We want this, not only for Simona, but for the whole team. The Lotus HVM Racing Team has worked so hard all season, and has shown great support to Lotus, and we are grateful and appreciative of that. We should see some differences with this engine compared to Edmonton with all the long straight lines. Simona is very talented and her driving style should show more performance on a technical track like Mid Ohio. Lotus driver doing for charity Simona is constantly giving of her time and energy to charity. This time, she offered up her helmet for an auction to help raise money for the renowned Riley Burn Unit. The helmet was designed by a 12-year-old Riley Burn Unit patient named Jason Steenburger Jr last May. It was donated by Bell and painted by Austin Polen of Polen Designs. The helmet raised $6000 in a live auction at last week’s Race4Riley progressive dinner fundraising event. Friday Night’s Taste of Mid-Ohio As tradition would have it, Cara Charities will again be holding the annual Taste of Mid-Ohio event on Friday night, at the IndyCar Team Hospitality area, from 6 to 9 pm. Every year, this is where fans get a chance to rub elbows with drivers, team members, owners, track promoters and sponsors while sampling a variety of great food including roast pig, salad, side dishes, vegetables and dessert. The Taste of Mid-Ohio spotlights the culinary talents of the hospitality chefs as well as local professionals. Simona De Silvestro and her HVM Racing team will participate in this event.
  6. Sunday’s sunny Edmonton Indy was America’s first premier open-wheel race to run ‘caution free’ since Portland 2007. Lotus HVM Racing’s Simona de Silvestro drove a consistent race and showed good speed through the corners, pulling a nice move on Ed Carpenter Racing’s No.20 car on Lap 17. Unfortunately the car’s lack of pace on the straights made it difficult to gain more positions, and she finished 23rd. Simona de Silvestro: “It was kind of a weird day. No yellows, so we couldn’t really get off strategy. We had to make one more stop than everybody else because our fuel consumption is comparatively poor. We had a strong race car today, but we’re still not fast enough.” Vincent Pereme, Lotus’s motorsport engine manager: “We had a new spec of engine for Edmonton with an additional performance upgrade. We are very pleased with the fact that we were able to finish the race with no engine related issue. This is very important information for us as it validates this new specification of engine as the base on which we will be able to do further work. We understand that it is frustrating for Simona, as it is for the HVM and for all of us at Lotus, to not be able to compete yet with the frontrunners. But we are showing clear signs of improvement at each race and that will continue through the season.”
  7. 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).
  8. With top-10 finishes in her previous two starts at this track, a new updated engine, and strong practice sessions all weekend, Lotus HVM Racing driver Simona De Silvestro was poised for a strong qualifying session at the Honda Indy Toronto. Unfortunately, qualifying didn't go as well as she and the team had hoped. On a mostly wet track, De Silvestro had the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car in the top-12 for the majority of this morning's practice before encountering some braking issues on the final two laps resulting in an 18th place finish in the session. With her pace on par with the rest of the field on the 1.75-mile street course, thanks in part to the new engine updates, De Silvestro was poised for potentially her best qualifying of the season. A couple of factors contributed to the disappointing session. The first factor - black tires were used for all practice sessions and car setup, while red tires were used for qualifying. The difference in how the car handled was slight, but noticeable. "I'm pretty disappointed," De Silvestro said. "We have a pretty strong race car; it just didn't come to us on reds. I don't know, we'll see what we've got tomorrow. We have a good race-pace, so hopefully we can go do some good things tomorrow." The second factor was traffic. "We didn't get a clear lap which is on us," Keith Wiggins, team owner, said. "We need to make sure we don't get held up. We've made improvements. There've been improvements to the engine and we've made progress. Unfortunately, it wasn't reflected in qualifying. I just don't think we got the best out of the car for this session." Team Manager Shane Seneviratne felt the result could have been better. "It was a disappointing qualifying session," he said. "We ran well all weekend. We had good practice sessions, but we just didn't put it together for the qualifying group. We have a good race car, so we're looking forward to the race." The team faces a 10-spot penalty for an unapproved engine change. The starting grid will be announced after tomorrow's warm-up session. The 85-lap Honda Indy Toronto airs live on ABC tomorrow, Sunday, July 8 at 12:30 p.m. (ET).
  9. Iowa's long draught came to an end today as a severe thunderstorm hit the Iowa Speedway around 5:45 p.m., pushing back the start of the Iowa Corn Indy 250 to around 9:45 p.m. today. The rain and the late start didn't put a damper on the hopes of the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HVM Racing team. The team has struggled on ovals this season and was eager to get their first oval finish of the season. Not only did they finish, they had their second-best finish of the season. The race saw some attrition, starting with a blown engine by pole-sitter, Dario Franchitti on the warm up lap. Cars continued to struggle throughout the evening, but Lotus HVM Racing driver Simona De Silvestro pushed hard, drove a consistent race and stayed out of trouble. De Silvestro was happy with the final result. "I'm pretty happy with 14th", she said, "that's our second best finish this year, and it was on an oval. I think there was a lot of survival going on out there, but I think we had a really strong race car. It was really comfortable out there so I could stay in the tow of other people. A big thanks to the team, they kept working really hard every time. Even when we know it's going to be a tough weekend we always hope for the best. I think today we had a pretty good result at the end. Hopefully we'll get some improvements for the road courses and start sneaking into the top-ten. " Team owner Keith Wiggins was pleased with the outcome as well. "I think we should be quite happy," he said. "Bottom line is she did a great race. She got some more confidence and practice on the oval. Obviously we were down on power so she suffered a bit in traffic, but with the momentum when she was up to speed and we were doing the same lap times as most of the field, which is really good. I'm happy for the team and with the car setup and happy for Simona. We've just got to get a few more horses." Shane Seneviratne, team manager, is already looking ahead. "I'm glad we finished the race," he said. "Simona did a great job. Everything held up. Hats off to the crew on the pit stops. We're looking forward to Toronto." The team heads back to Indianapolis tomorrow looking forward to next weekend at home. The team travels next to Toronto for the Honda Indy Toronto on July 8th at 1:00 p.m. ET. The race will air on ABC.
  10. Iowa Speedway saw a change in the qualification format tonight with IZOD IndyCar drivers participating in a three heat race format rather than the traditional single-car qualification process. The new format benefited Lotus HVM driver Simona de Silvestro as her pass of Simon Pagenaud netted her two spots on the starting grid instead of just one. It was a bit confusing, but in the end worked out well for the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car. Here's a breakdown of how it worked... Teams were split into three groups based on their performance in today's second practice session. Race one consisted of the cars that finished the practice session in an even-numbered spot starting with the 10th-quickest practice time. Race two consisted of the cars that finished the practice session in an odd-numbered spot starting with the 9th-quickest practice time. The third and final race consisted of the top-eight finishers in the practice session. The third race determined the starting position of the first eight starters with the cars in race one filling the even-numbered spots from 10th down and the cars in race two filling the odd-numbered spots from 9th down. By finishing one spot ahead of Pagenaud, De Silvestro made the jump to 23rd on the grid with the slowest car from the group one qualifiers, Takuma Sato, starting 24th. E.J. Viso had an unauthorized engine change and incurred a 10-spot penalty which moved him back behind Sato, moving both De Silvestro and Sato up one spot to 22nd and 23rd respectively. Team owner Keith Wiggins spoke about the new format. "Well, it was an interesting format," he said. "Let's hope that the fans appreciated it. For us, we picked up a couple of spots so we'll take that and obviously focus on the main race tomorrow." De Silvestro was pleased with the results. "Today was a big learning curve," she said. "We've never been here with this car; we didn't test here, so we just threw some things at it this morning and it was alright; we worked through it. We learned a lot in the first session, improved it in the second session and I think even in the third session we went a bit quicker, so those are really good things. If we keep progressing like this it really shows that we're a pretty strong team and can improve every session out there." Shane Seneviratne, team manager, agreed with Wiggins about the heat race qualifying. "Interesting format," he said. "I think it worked out better for us. We gained a couple of positions so it looks like we'll be starting 23rd. Simona did a good job. She gave us a good indication for the race. We just need to take advantage of it and set up a good race car. What does De Silvestro think about the team's chances tomorrow? "I think we have a good car," she said. "We're hoping that tomorrow some people will fall off a little bit like in Milwaukee and that's going to play in our favor. You know if we have a solid car for a full stint, so we'll see. We're just working at it, progressing. I don't think we'll be able to make real passes at real speed, but if people are going to struggle that's where our chance is going to come. We're really going to be ready when that chance comes." The Iowa Corn Indy 250 airs tomorrow night under the lights on NBC Sports at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 9:00 p.m. local time.
  11. The Iowa Speedway is a 7/8 mile, semi-banked oval, where the drivers will be going flat out on Saturday night, under the lights. While similar in length to Milwaukee, its high banks yield racing that is similar to Indianapolis and Texas. Having passed the halfway mark in the season, Simona De Silvestro #78 and the Lotus HVM Racing Team, the hope to see even more improvement this weekend, when they hit the track on Friday. Weather is a very important factor again, as cars do not race on ovals in the rain for safety reasons. So far, this weekend’s forecast is pretty good, but there is a chance of rain for the race on Saturday. It’s All About Setup, Tyres, and Talent ! Earlier this week, the IZOD IndyCar Series announced some changes to the aero package for this weekend’s race in Iowa, which will reduce downforce available by about 8 or 9 percent. The engineers may need to put in some overtime to find the right setup that will help save the tires. However, the word from the drivers is that this is putting the focus back where it should be. This is where the driver’s talent will play a big role. The heat is on for qualification The qualification will be decided by three 30-lap heat races to set the starting lineup for the Iowa Corn Indy 250. Qualification groups will be determined by lap times recorded by entries on the .875-mile oval in the second (45-minute) practice session (3:30 p.m. ET). Race 1 will consist of the even-numbered positions, starting with the 10th-quickest practice time, and determine the even-numbered positions in the starting field from 10th down. Race 2 will consist of the odd-numbered positions, starting with the ninth-quickest practice time, and determine the odd-numbered positions in the starting field from ninth down. Race 3 will consist of drivers ranked one through eight from the practice. Results of Race 3 will determine the first four rows, with the winner taking the pole position. Each race is projected for 12-14 minutes duration. Cars will carry about one-third of the E85 fuel load, which shouldn't impact tyre wear or the car's consistency with its maximum 37-degree rear wing flap angle on the compound banking. Iowa Speedway Circuit length: .875-mile oval Laps: 250 Miles: 218.75 Front straight: 1,075 feet Back straight: 869 feet Banking of front straight: 10 degrees Banking of back straight: 4 degrees Banking of turns: 12-14 degrees Width: 60 feet
  12. After a lengthy rain delay, the Milwaukee IndyFest started well for Simona De Silvestro and the Lotus HVM Racing team. The #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car started 23rd on the grid and had some over-steer issues early on. De Silvestro made some adjustments in the car and settled into a good race pace. De Silvestro was running 22nd when she entered the pits on lap 59. The team made tire and wing adjustments before re-entering the track. Just 8 laps later De Silvestro got into the marbles and brushed the wall in turn 3. De Silvestro was taken to the infield care center where she was examined and released. As she left the care center she had this to say, "I just made a mistake. TK (Tony Kanaan) passed me and Oriol (Servia) tried to tuck behind him, and I just got in the marbles. It's just unfortunate. Sometimes you make mistakes; that's what happens." The team was hopeful that the damage was minor and could be repaired, but unfortunately once the car was returned to the garage it was determined that there wasn't enough time to make repairs and return to the race. De Silvestro felt bad for the team. "It's pretty unfortunate," she said. "I made a bit of a mistake and ended up in the marbles and put an end to our day. It's a shame because I think we had a pretty good race car. I want to thank the team. I'm really sorry to have put them in this situation. It would have been nice to have finished the race and learn. But, I guess I learned a lot because I made a mistake that I'm not going to do again next time." Shane Seneviratne, team manager, was equally happy with the way the race was going before the contact in turn 3. "It looked like it was going to turn out to be a good race," he said. "Simona had good pace. Her car was a little over-steering in the beginning, but she made some adjustments in the car giving her a good car. At the first pit stop we made a few more adjustments. She was running a good pace, but unfortunately we got caught out when Kanaan went by us; we got into the grey and she brushed the wall." The team now heads to Newton, Iowa for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 next Saturday, June 23. The race will air on NBC Sports Network at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
  13. IZOD IndyCar driver Simona De Silvestro challenged the back of the field today at the Milwaukee Mile during qualification for tomorrow's Milwaukee IndyFest. The Swiss pilot of the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car was less than a five-tenths of a second behind Charlie Kimball who qualified 21st and even closer to Oriol Servia's and Ed Carpenter's qualifying times. The team has struggled all season with horsepower issues and is extremely excited to be gaining ground on the other engine manufacturers. HVM Racing is the lone remaining team running the Lotus engine and has been at a disadvantage early on due to the manufacturer's late arrival to the series. De Silvestro and the team have managed to keep competitive on road and street courses, but have had difficulties staying competitive on ovals. De Silvestro was pleased with today's result. "I'm pretty happy to have out-qualified someone," she said. "I think we have a really good race car. We worked a lot and I think it's pretty impressive because we didn't come here and test. So I'm happy about that. We're just working on a good basic for tomorrow. Maybe we can get off-strategy a little bit so we can move forward and then I think we can run there. I don't think we'll be able to pass anyone, but I think we can definitely run with people and stay with people, so that's the important thing." Today's performance offers De Silvestro, the team, the manufacturer and the sponsors a glimpse of a more competitive second half of the season. Tom Brown, Lotus HVM Racing's technical director was proud of the effort given by the entire team. "I'm very, very impressed with Sim and the guys for putting this car together the way they did and engineering it," he said. "No testing, just turning up and spending an hour, hour and a half, and putting it as close as we did to some of these guys ahead of us. Given our situation, where we are, we're doing a heck of a job." Team Manager Shane Seneviratne summed up the day. "We had a really good car," he said. "Our lap times are very close. With the deficiency we have with the horsepower I think the team is quite pleased to be competitive." Tomorrow's Milwaukee IndyFest airs on ABC with coverage starting at noon Eastern.
  14. The IZOD IndyCar teams and drivers are on the road again for a fourth week in a row. The next stop will be West Allis, Wisconsin, at the historic Milwaukee Mile for the Milwaukee IndyFest. It has been a long-standing tradition for IndyCar to go to Milwaukee. As Paul Newman used to say, back in 1969 “We always go to Milwaukee after Indy”. The Milwaukee Mile is the oldest operating motor speedway in the world. It’s been around since 1903. This is where 1992 Formula One world champion and Lotus legend Nigel Mansell won his first oval race, back in 1993. Last year IndyCar champion, Dario Franchitti (#10 – Target Chip Ganassi Racing) won the race here from pole. The drivers put on a great show at Texas and plan on doing the same here at the Milwaukee Mile. Graham Rahal (#38 – Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing) came close to winning in Texas, but was overtaken by Justin Wilson (#18 – Dale Coyne Racing) just two laps before the end, after brushing the Turn 4 wall. "I saw guys going forward like crazy one stint, next stint they were falling back like crazy, and I was one of them,” said Rahal. “That's phenomenal. That's the way it should be. That's the way it used to be. We put on some great shows so far this year, and we need to keep that buzz going. And ultimately, the goal is to put more butts in the seats out there, and more eyes on the TV. If racing like this keeps helping it, then I'm all for it.” All the IndyCar drivers agree that tyres will be a big factor again this weekend, just as they were in Texas. This year’s new car is tougher on the rear tyres on ovals, it wears them out faster. However, other factors come into play on this short oval such as the wind, the engineering. “The engineers make the difference here,” said British driver Katherine Legge (#6 - TrueCar Dragon Racing), who made history here at the Mile. Legge was the first woman to have led race laps here in 2006. It was her first time on an oval and she finished sixth. “On ovals, how good you are is dependant on how good your car is. The engineers definitely earn their money on ovals.” Lotus HVM Racing is looking forward to a better result this weekend, as the #78 Lotus machine did not turn one racing lap in Texas because of a fuel pressure problem. With the new exhaust system in place last weekend, the Lotus car was showing great improvement. The Lotus HVM hopes to take that momentum forward. Simona De Silvestro, the driver of the #78 Lotus car has been around this famed oval a few times and is hoping to cash in on her experience at Milwaukee. "Let's just see what we can do in Milwaukee. We're going to work hard to have a good car and see what we can end up with. Hopefully we'll finish with a good result at the end of the weekend!” The weather forecast for the weekend is good so far, with no rain expected on race day. That’s a good thing, as IndyCars do not race on ovals when it rains. Milwaukee Mile Circuit length: 1-mile oval Laps: 225 Miles: 225 Front and back straights: 1,265 feet Banking of straightaways: 2.5 degrees Banking of turns: 9.25 degrees Width: 70 feet
  15. It was a very disappointing night for Simona de Silvestro and the Lotus HVM Racing team. After strong practice and qualifying runs this weekend, the team came to Texas full of hope with an updated exhaust system that offered a promise of more speed and competitiveness. Unfortunately, the car was unable to start the race. At 8:50 pm (ET), when the command was given to start the engines, two cars did not start on grid, Rubens Barichello’s #8 machine (KV Racing Technology) and Simona’s #78 car. “No fuel pressure” were the words that resounded over the HVM radio. The team rushed the car back to the garage to see what could be done to get the #78 machine to join the field. Unfortunately, this was not something that could be fixed in a short time. Twenty minutes later, they called it a night. Simona de Silvestro: “We have one update finally, and then something like this happens, and it’s annoying. But that’s kind of how the whole season has been going with our program. The guys are working their butts off and we’re trying to make things happen, but we just don’t have the pieces all put together right now.” Olivier Picquenot, Lotus IndyCar Manager: “I have no words. Everyone at Lotus was so happy with the improvement on Simona’s car this weekend. The HVM Racing team had worked so hard, but who would have known the fuel regulator would fail.”
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