September 18, 2011 – Motegi, Tochigi, Japan – Simona De Silvestro persevered to a fourteenth-place finish during the final IZOD IndyCar race at Twin Ring Motegi.
Starting from the back of the grid, De Silvestro was able to advance to P21 after only 15 laps. She and her HVM Racing team did some large changes throughout the weekend to find speed on the very low grip and tricky circuit. They accomplished their goal on Sunday afternoon, finding speed, putting together some solid laps and gaining positions.
De Silvestro was running in P17 at lap 50. An incident on lap 57 allowed her to advance to P16 and another with two laps to go in the race moved her up to P15. A penalty issued to another driver during the last few laps of the race gave her one more position, putting the No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car in P14 to finish the final road course of the 2011 season.
“I think overall we can be happy with how the race went,” said De Silvestro. “Where we started was kind of tough, but the car was definitely better in the race. It was difficult to pass out there, but we made it happen a few times. I’m proud of the Nuclear Clean Air Energy team for the work they put in this weekend as we tried a variety of changes. Now we’ll look forward to finishing the season strong in Kentucky and Vegas.”
The stars and cars of the IZOD IndyCar Series head back to the Midwest to compete in two weeks at the Kentucky Motor Speedway. The Kentucky Indy 300 is the 16th race of the season. Fans can catch all the action at the track on Sunday, October 2 at 2 p.m. EDT or on the telecast, airing live on Versus TV.
September 17, 2011 – Motegi, Tochigi, Japan – After an exciting week of travel to the other side of the world, Simona De Silvestro and her HVM Racing team completed their qualifying run for Sunday’s race at Twin Ring Motegi.
On a road course that the IZOD IndyCar Series has never run on, the Nuclear Clean Air Energy team did some experimenting to find speed during the three practice sessions. Unfortunately, the perfect lap just didn’t come together for De Silvestro as she ran in the second, and more challenging, qualifying group. She will start Sunday’s competition from P26.
“I really like the track here at Twin Ring Motegi,” said De Silvestro. “It feels like a European race course and suits my style. We struggled this weekend but I’m confident that we’ll be able to make up positions during the race. I’m proud of the Nuclear Clean Air Energy team for working so hard to make changes as we experimented this weekend. I’ll be doing my best tomorrow to show them it was worth the effort they put forth.”
De Silvestro will join the other drivers of the IZOD IndyCar Series for the Indy Japan: The Final, taking place at Twin Ring Motegi on Sunday, September 18 at 1 p.m. local time. For fans in the United States, the 63-lap race will be aired live on Versus TV at 11:30 p.m. ET.
If you’re a fan of the IZOD IndyCar Series, you know what it’s like to be captivated by speed, power, talent, fun, etc. You know what it’s like to look forward to race day and cheer for your favorite driver or team. You know what it’s like to share in the passion of open-wheel racing.
Behind your favorite driver is a hard-working team. Behind that team is a sponsor (or multiple sponsors) that believes in the driver and the sport enough to provide financial backing so that the team can continue to roll out on the grid and entertain us each weekend.
So we’re declaring today “Thank You Thursday,” or #TYThurs. We’re asking you to show your appreciation for our sponsors (and other team’s sponsors too). If you’ve never tweeted them a thank you before, today’s the day! Maybe it’s just a quick thank you or the reason you love IndyCar. Send a tweet, write on our facebook wall or post a comment here. Let’s show them how glad we are that they’ve stepped up to be part of the greatest racing community in the world!
HVM primary sponsors:
The Nuclear Clean Air Energy campaign: @NuclearCleanAir
Entergy Nuclear: @EntergyNuclear
Academic & Technology partner:
Purdue University: @PurdueU
Lista office: (no twitter), http://www.facebook.com/listaoffice
Holtec International: (no twitter, but post your thank you below!)
BRM Watches: @MyWatchIsBRM
InterContinental Harbor Court Baltimore: @ICBaltimore
TDS Telecom: @TDStelecom
Baltimore Grand Prix: @BaltimoreGP
Rev1 Power Services: @Rev1PS
Dr. Garcon Footwear: @CasualFootwear
Beyond Payroll: @BeyondPayroll
September 3, 2011 – Baltimore, MD – On Saturday, Simona De Silvestro proved that she wouldn’t be deterred by last week’s events, as she put forth a solid qualifying effort for Sunday’s Baltimore Grand Prix.
A week of uncertainty followed a misunderstanding with the U.S. Customs & Border Patrol office, forcing De Silvestro to return to her home country of Switzerland. She arrived in Baltimore on Thursday afternoon, where she and her team quickly got to work preparing the car for the race weekend.
This is the second visit to Baltimore for the Swiss driver. She and her team visited this market in February to announce the three-year sponsorship deal with Entergy Nuclear and the kick-off of the Nuclear Clean Air Energy campaign. Because of the campaign’s continued success, HVM Racing and Entergy are also joined this weekend by AREVA, the global leader in nuclear energy.
In front of what De Silvestro referred to as a “home crowd,” she was able to advance to the second round of qualifying and put the car in P12 to start Sunday’s inaugural race on the streets of Baltimore.
“I feel really good about what we did out there today,” said De Silvestro after her qualifying run. “This is the first time that we’ve made the top twelve this season and I’m proud of the Nuclear Clean Air Energy team for giving me a good car. I’m okay with starting mid-pack tomorrow. We’re just going to have to drive a smart race and I’m confident that we’ll be able to bring home a solid finish.”
De Silvestro and the other drivers of the IZOD IndyCar Series will compete in the Baltimore Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon. The 75-lap race will begin at 2:45 p.m. EDT and will air live on Versus TV, with pre-race activities beginning at 2 p.m.
September 1, 2011 – Baltimore, MD – After a week of uncertainty and chaos, HVM Racing is thrilled to announce that primary driver, Simona De Silvestro has arrived back in the United States and will drive the No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car in this weekend’s Baltimore Grand Prix.
Last week, De Silvestro was questioned and sent back home as she attempted to cross through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office during her return from her home country of Switzerland. In a situation that HVM Racing never imagined would happen, the team was forced to make a fast, smart decision. They enlisted the help of French driver Simon Pagenaud, who piloted the No. 78 car to a P15 finish in last weekend’s Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma.
Now, as the team focuses forward, they’re happy to be able to do so with their star driver. De Silvestro arrived in the U.S. on Thursday afternoon and is looking forward to being back in the cockpit.
“I’m so happy to be back in the U.S. and reunited with my team,” said De Silvestro when she landed at the airport on Thursday afternoon. “This whole experience was frustrating, but I really want to thank my fans and sponsors for their support. It was also great to see that my team was able to persevere and post a good result with Simon Pagenaud last weekend. Now it’s time to focus on the Baltimore Grand Prix and the rest of the season. We’re setting our goals high for a solid finish.”
The good news keeps coming for HVM Racing, who is proud to announce a new partnership with Rev1 Power Services. The company has signed on as an associate sponsor for the Baltimore Grand Prix and further strengthens the team’s effort – along with other sponsors Entergy Nuclear and AREVA – to spread the Nuclear Clean Air Energy message.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the Nuclear Clean Air Energy campaign,” said Rick Ehrgott, President of Rev1 Power Services. “Having worked in the nuclear industry myself, I understand the importance of getting the message out about the value of Nuclear Clean Air Energy. I am looking forward to building a long-term relationship with HVM Racing, Entergy, and the Nuclear Clean Air Energy initiative.”
De Silvestro and her HVM Racing team will be on track for the first time on Friday. The first practice will take place from 12:05-1:20 p.m. EDT. A second practice will follow from 4:10-5:10 p.m.
August 28, 2011 – Somona, CA – A weekend of chaos yielded a good race from HVM Racing and fill-in driver Simon Pagenaud at Infineon Raceway.
Only three days before the race, HVM Racing was informed that their primary driver, Simona De Silvestro, was denied access into the United States while traveling back from her home country of Switzerland. The team enlisted the help of Pagenaud, who had subbed for two other teams on road courses during the 2011 IZOD IndyCar season. The French driver was asked to pilot the No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car on a day-to-day basis until De Silvestro is able to return.
Throughout the weekend, the team worked to set up the car for Pagenaud, who had never driven the Infineon Raceway track. Each practice session brought improvements and although Pagenaud qualified the car in P22, he was optimistic about a solid race-day performance.
The former Champ Car driver delivered on that promise. At the start of the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, the team made a strategic pit stop on lap eight and Pagenaud was able to advance to P15 by lap 27. A switch to sticker reds came during the team’s next pit stop on lap 33, after which he said made the car feel really dialed in. By lap 40, HVM Racing had the fastest car on the track.
Unfortunately, a full-course caution came out on lap 66 and Pagenaud drew a penalty for passing the leader under yellow. He served the drive-through and finished the race in P16.
“Overall, it was a good race,” said Pagenaud. “I’m very happy with how the car handled – it’s a really good race car, especially on the reds. We were really hooked up, especially in the middle part of the race. I was glad to see that we could keep the pace with Will Power and I was impressed with the Nuclear Clean Air Energy team all weekend – they really worked hard. In the end, the decision from race control to give me the drive-through is a bit surprising. It’s just a shame. What we need to remember is that it was a good race and we were on pace with the leaders. It was a good end to a very late-notice weekend.”
He also added, “I want to thank the whole HVM team and their sponsors for having me in the car this weekend and trusting me for the job.”
HVM Racing is pleased with the performance and looks forward to finishing the remainder of the season with continued success. The team is now focused on rectifying the travel issues for Simona De Silvestro, to have her back in the car for the next race.
The Swiss driver is ready to return as quickly as possible.
“I’m very disappointed to be missing the race weekend in Sonoma,” said De Silvestro. “Infineon Raceway is a fun track and we had a productive test there last week. Even thought I’m not able to be driving the Nuclear Clean Air Energy car this weekend, I’m glad that HVM was able to find another great driver to fill in for me. Thanks to Simon Pagenaud for helping the team out and I can’t wait to be back in the cockpit very soon!”
In one week, the IZOD IndyCar Series travels to the nation’s east coast for the Baltimore Grand Prix. The 75-lap competition will take place on the streets of Baltimore at 2:45 p.m. EDT. The telecast will be live on Versus TV, with pre-race activities beginning at 2 p.m.