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Chatsworth, 8th-10th July 2022

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Found 13 results

  1. 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
  2. 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.”
  3. 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.”
  4. They say it's the Racing Capital of Western Canada. The City of Edmonton, Alberta, is buzzing this week with race activities, in preparing for the upcoming Edmonton Indy. This Sunday, all 25 drivers from the IZOD IndyCar Series will compete in this season's 11th race event at the City Centre Airport course, just a stone's throw from the downtown streets. "I'm looking forward to Edmonton, it's always a fun event," says Lotus HVM Racing driver Simona De Silvestro. "The team has been working really hard. My Lotus car in Toronto was the best I've ever had there, and I think we'll have another good car in Edmonton. So, hopefully, we'll have a good finish." After Toronto's engine failure during the race two weeks ago, De Silvestro's engine was sent to the UK for analysis and repairs. Motorsport Engine Manager for Lotus, Vincent Pereme comments: "The Edmonton Lotus engine will be an updated spec from the Toronto engine. The new bits in it will be adding another noticeable step in performance and will bring us definitely closer to the competitors. We will still be behind but getting closer at every race. We already have another improvement planned for Mid-Ohio as the parts were not made available in time to be brought to Edmonton unfortunately. This modification will bring a further step up in our fluid dynamics efficiency". He adds "On the reliability side, we were unfortunate to have an issue on the engine which wasn't related to the newly introduced engine upgrade. This engine failure was a big blow to our expectations for the weekend. However, we have to bear in mind that all the engine manufacturers are experiencing reliability problems this year. We have found a fix for it and aren't expecting any issues this weekend."
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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.”
  10. Lotus legend, double world champion and two-times Indy 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi reflects on the weekends action in Monaco and Indianapolis… Emerson, you never won the Monaco Grand Prix. Does it feel like there's something missing in your trophy cabinet? Every race I entered I wanted to win, and Monaco was no exception. I got close to getting it done, but not quite. Kimi Räikkönen picked up two points, but it was a rather disappointing race for Lotus. Romain Grosjean's crash at the start must have been quite scary. How difficult is it in Monaco to get through the first corner without tripping up? Each time I watch Monaco I cannot help thinking how the track has kept its character through the years, even with some changes. Of course, the first corner is always difficult in any race, and Monaco is one of the hardest ones. But just think about Ste Devote without that escape road to the right. It was a lot narrower in my time. You're one of a select group of F1 drivers who have made a successful transition to oval racing. Takuma Sato came so close to winning before binning, and Rubens Barrichello was the top-placed rookie. Do you think they'll add their names to the history books one day? Sato was obviously committed to win or bust there at the end, and that has to be the attitude in the final laps of a race like the 500. Rubens is very talented and I think he did a commendable job on his Indy debut. With more experience on ovals he should be able to pull some great results. The other ex-F1 Indy rookie on the grid was Jean Alesi. Sadly Jean's last minute package wasn't terribly competitive, but how do you think he conducted himself over his three weeks at Indianapolis, learning the ropes? It was hard to follow it properly because they were struggling with the package, and I was not at the track. I talked to him a few months ago about this, and advised him to race another oval before Indy. He had a lot of new things to deal with, and it must have been tough.
  11. The Indy 500 requires balls, luck and grunt. There’s no shortage of courage at Lotus, and we’re hopeful our fortunes will turn for the better. We all knew going into Sunday’s race that we were struggling with performance. Lotus-powered drivers Simona de Silvestro (#78 – Lotus HVM Racing) and rookie Jean Alesi (#64 – Lotus Fan Force United) did all that they could to stay with the pack, but after nine laps of the 2.5 mile Brickyard the race director called them into the pits to retire. Both cars had made the cut in qualifying, but by lapping outside 105 percent of the leader’s pace in the race – 10-12mph shy – they were black-flagged. Simona’s top speed was 205.938mph, Jean’s 203.839. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which hosted 400,000 fans sweltering in 91 degree heat, was the first oval race on the 2012 IZOD IndyCar calendar, a layout which highlighted the power gap between the three manufacturers. Despite performance improvements at each of the four previous rounds, it was galling for everyone involved not to have a stab at the full 500 miles today. Jean Alesi: “Frustration is a part of my job, but it’s a shame we couldn’t be out there. This regulation is fair. Everything was new for me in this race. From the first day that I arrived, saw the car, and met my team, I understood that we had to work hard, and we did. There is a part of the job that can be fixed on the track, but we had an engine that was not competitive straightaway, and we had to deal with it. We tried many things to avoid a lack of performance, but it could not be overcome. So it is difficult to be out of the race. However, I’ve learned a lot about this new racing discipline, and I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve had fantastic people around me, and I’ve really loved being a part of this great event, meeting lots of friendly and passionate fans, and spending time here in Indiana. I leave with a lot of respect for the Indy 500, an event I’ve followed from afar for many years, and I hope to return next year. I will start to prepare now.” Simona de Silvestro: “I’m pretty disappointed to get black-flagged after only a few laps. We were trying to keep up pace, but unfortunately right now we don’t have the pace, so now we have to work hard to get to the pace that we need. It’s a disappointment because the team worked so hard all month and when you can’t fight for anything it’s really, really tough. So, we just have to be patient.”
  12. Friday 25th May Carb day at the Brickyard. The final day of practice for the Indianapolis 500. The Lotus Fan Force United team and Jean Alesi need their #64 FP Journe-sponsored machine to get as much track time as possible. Alas, this was not to be. The green flag flew over the Speedway at 11am, and Jean Alesi, driving with a freshly-mounted Lotus engine, steered on to the circuit for an installation lap. One lap is needed for a leak check before the team and driver get busy seeing what exactly their new and upgraded powerplant can muster. Checking over the rear of the car that has been effectively taken apart and re-assembled since Sunday’s qualifying run, and with everything seeming to be in order for the moment, the engine is fired and Jean is motioned out of the pit at 11:07am. It’s time to spend the next hour running race condition laps, practicing pit stops and launches, and making crucial final preparations. Jean’s first lap at speed was in excess of 204mph. This does not equal the pace of the guys at the front, to say the least, but this does generate satisfied looks all around the Fan Force United team pit. Jean posts a couple more laps at a similar pace, running with traffic before returning to the pit to completely fill the tank and make his first full-tank runs of the month. Returning to the pit, Jean slides to a stop and the team performs a live pit stop. Curiously, the brakes are smoking, which is unexpected. This draws a bit of attention, and many are curious as to the source of this strange smoke. Naturally, the brakes are hot on a hot day, but that doesn’t offer a satisfactory explanation. Nevertheless, the tyres are changed, fuel is delivered, the jack is dropped, and at 11:19am Jean again motors down the pit lane, eager to discover how his fully-fueled mount will feel around the 2.5 mile creator of legends. This will prove to be Jean’s final lap on the morning, as Jean returns to the pit, brakes smoking again (something about a solvent that was used to clean the brakes – a minor issue that has been addressed). There seems to be a problem at the rear of the car. As the team inspects the back end of the racing machine, it is discovered that there is a leaky seal at the front of the gearbox. Thankfully, it is not an issue with the engine that limits Jean’s laps, but as far as the plan for the day is concerned, it’s still a disaster, as it cannot be easily addressed in the pit lane. This is the first mechanical issue that has limited the team’s ability to run laps since the month began. Oddly, it comes not after the 48 hours in which the car was assembled and placed on the racetrack. Rather, it comes after five days of careful assembly. The racing gods have a sense of humor. The up side is that the problem was discovered on Carb Day rather than race day. After the aborted attempt to practice, Jean turns his attention to the Indy Lights race, paying special attention to the two Fan Force United cars of Armaan Ebrahim and Emerson Newton-John (nephew of Olivia). Afterwards, Jean makes a trip to the suite of his sponsor, FP Journe watches, which has a large contingent of retail partners in town for race weekend. After an appearance there, Jean returns to the garage, going over details with his team while interacting with guests, signing autographs, and continuing to enjoy his maiden Indianapolis 500 experience. At 6pm, Jean makes an appearance at the annual “Last Row Party,” accepting his extra prize money of 33 cents for being the 33rd and final starter in the 500 field. He enjoys some good-natured ribbing, taking it all in his stride with a wink and a smile. From there he is off to the IndyCar Soiree, for a brief appearance before being whisked off to a dinner with FP Journe and his guests. The day is long and full, but not nearly as productive as had been hoped.
  13. Thursday 24th May It’s Thursday, the day before Carb Day. The Lotus Fan Force United team has been working flat-out since Monday morning to get the #64 FP Journe DW12 prepared for the final day of practice. We’ve received and installed our new Lotus engine, hopeful that it will provide Jean with just a bit more grunt for race day. It is more than worth noting that the Lotus Fan Force United team comes to the Indy 500 as the only true “one-off” for this year’s race. Yes, there are entries that are “Indy-only,” but all of those single-event entries are being fielded in association with a full-time team. Fan Force United, with tremendous support from Lotus, have taken on the challenge of Indy on its own. What others said that they could not do in a month, we managed in far less time, achieving each goal that we have set for ourselves along the way. Many thought this effort would be a recipe for disaster, but all have tipped their caps to the Fan Force United group, for what has been, regardless of speed, a flawless and well-executed leap to center-stage of the world of motorsport. As the team continued its preparations this morning, word came that Jean Alesi’s fellow countryman, F1 driver Jean Eric Vergne, is wearing Jean’s helmet design for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, in order to honor Jean’s participation in the Indianapolis 500. It is truly humbling for us to have so many eyes, from all around the world, cast towards our driver and this team, as “the Jean” tackles his newest and perhaps most difficult single challenge. Working with a driver of his stature has been an incredible experience, and we sincerely hope to be able to do it again next year, as Jean has expressed interest in a return engagement at Indy, with a bit more horsepower available to his legendary right foot. It seems as if Jean has found something of another home here, with this team and among its fans, and appears to want to be a part of its story on more than just this one occasion. Interestingly, Jean has made a pointed statement in the last few days, expressing his admiration for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the race, and his team, saying “I have learned more in one week here than I did in my entire Formula One career.”
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