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De Silvestro Qualifies 21st at the Honda Indy Toronto

Toronto, ON (July 7, 2012) - 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).
About HVM Racing
HVM Racing was founded by Keith Wiggins and is based in Indianapolis, Indiana. HVM enters 2011 as its tenth year of competition since forming in 2001 and has earned six victories, two pole positions, and an additional 16 podiums. They earned "Indianapolis Rookie of the Year" honors with driver Simona De Silvestro at the 2010 event and since joining the IZOD INDYCAR Series in 2008, the team has earned nine top-10 finishes. HVM finished fourth and third, respectively, in the Champ Car World Series in 2006 and 2007, and earned drivers Mario Dominguez and Robert Doornbos Rookie of the Year honors in 2002 and 2007, respectively. Follow HVM Racing at, on twitter at, and on facebook at
About Lotus
Group Lotus plc, is based in Norfolk, UK, and has three operating divisions: Lotus Cars, Lotus Engineering and Lotus Motorsport.
Lotus Cars builds world class, high performance sports cars including the award-winning Evora, the iconic Elise and the stunning Exige and the road / track orientated 2-Eleven. Lotus New Era, the future product line-up, was unveiled in Paris on 30th September 2010 featuring the new Esprit, Elan, Elite, Elise and Eterne.
Lotus Engineering provides comprehensive and versatile consultancy services to many of the world's OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers and is an internationally recognised automotive engineering consultancy. Global facilities include those in the US, Malaysia, China and offices in Germany and Japan. Lotus is a global high-tech company, committed to driving forward technology for both Lotus Cars and its Engineering clients, spearheading research into such areas as hybrids, electric vehicles and renewable fuels.
Lotus Motorsport operates the motorsports activities of Lotus and includes the strategy to return the Lotus name to a great number of series including endurance racing with GT2, GT4 and LMP2, single seater racing with GP2, GP3 and IndyCar. Lotus has also returned to F1 with Lotus Renault GP from the start of the 2011 F1 racing season onwards.
For more information about Group Lotus please contact:
PR Department, Group Lotus plc, Potash Lane, Hethel, Norfolk, UK, NR14 8EZ
Tel: +44 (0)1953 608264 Email:
About Entergy
Entergy is the second largest owner and operator of U.S. nuclear energy plants. They operate or provide management services to 12 reactors at 10 sites. Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity and delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and more than 15,000 employees. Follow at and; on Twitter at and www.twitter/NuclearCleanAir, and on facebook at Clean Air Energy.
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