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De Silvestro Qualifies 25th for GoPro Indy GP of Sonoma

Sonoma, CA (Saturday, August 25, 2012) - Lotus HVM Racing driver Simona De Silvestro was hoping to have a good qualifying session today in order to have a chance of putting the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car a little further up on the starting grid for tomorrow's GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. Unfortunately, with the unapproved engine change it appears that the team will start last tomorrow. Yesterday's practice was the first opportunity Simona had to experience the changes on the newly configured 2.385mile, 12 turn road course.
After that practice the Swiss driver was optimistic. "It was a good first practice," she said. "We haven't tested here so we're kind of getting everything going. Even myself, being out of the car for three weeks it feels a little bit strange in the beginning, but I think in the end we're okay. We're going to work on it tomorrow and try to put the lap a little more together and we'll see. I think we're in the mix, we're not super far off compared to the other guys, so we just have to keep picking at it a little bit and hopefully maybe we can get in the top 20 or something like that. That would be cool."
Today however was a different story. "Well, it's really disappointing," De Silvestro said. "I don't really know what to say. The changes we made are good, so we'll just keep plugging away. I think we have a good car for tomorrow. We'll continue to do our best as a team and hopefully get a good result."
Tom Brown, the team's technical director, was disappointed as well with the qualifying result. "Once again we got as much out of the car as we could; as much out of Simona as we could," he said. "It's a tough track, a challenging track. We enjoy it here. I think it'll be an interesting race, but qualifying... we always just have to accept what we get in qualifying."
The team has a group of sponsors from Entergy and GE Hitachi at the track this weekend, many of whom are attending their first race. While they would have loved seeing Simona have a better qualifying, they're still enjoying the unique experience the track has to offer.
Shane Seneviratne, the team's manager, is happy to have the large contingent of guests to entertain. "We're excited," he said. "We have a lot of sponsors here at the race track this weekend. I want to extend our gratitude for their continued support and patience with us. We're doing our best; looking forward to a good race. We'll be starting in the back of the field with the engine penalty, but it's a long race and anything could happen. Hopefully we can put on a good show for our sponsors that are here."
Be sure to tune in live when the GoPro Indy Grand Prix airs tomorrow on NBC Sports Network at 4:30 p.m. ET. You can also follow the team, Simona and the event on Twitter: @simdesilvestro, @hvmracing and #GoProGP.
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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