Power & Hunter-Reay Fast In St. Petersburg
That Power and Hunter-Reay were the two fastest was no surprise; it was the third-fastest driver of the session that turned heads.
It was Simona de Silvestro, who struggled mightily last year with the underpowered, underperforming Lotus engine for HVM Racing. Lotus bailed on the IndyCar Series and de Silvestro left HVM joining Tony Kanaan at KV Racing. That means Chevy power for the driver from Switzerland and she made the most of it Friday with a fast time of 1:01.689 (105.042 mph).
“It’s a big difference,” de Silvestro said. “Last year we came in here and we knew it was going to be a struggle, and this year we come after a really good Barber test and it showed right away. Even this morning I thought we were pretty quick even if we still have a little bit of work to do on the car. It’s definitely a relief to know we can be fast and we can be right up there with the other guys.
“Last year we came here knew it was going to be a struggle. This year we come here after a real good Barber (Motorsports Park) test and it showed right away. This morning I thought we were pretty quick even though we still had a little bit of work to do on the car. It’s definitely a big relief to know that we can be fast and we can be right up there with these other guys. I really have to thank KV Racing and Team Chevy to give me this opportunity. After a year like I had last year you cannot think of what is going happen next year and to get this opportunity and also with my sponsor, Nuclear Entergy Areva, they stuck with me. Hopefully, we are going to have a really good race so everybody can be proud.”
This is also the race where de Silvestro scored her best-ever finish of fourth in 2011 when she out-raced the driver who is now her teammate – Tony Kanaan.
“I don’t know why, but it’s definitely where I had my best results before Indy cars,” she said. “I like this place. It’s the season opener so you get really excited to finally go racing. I think I really like the track I’ve always had a lot of fun here. When you know you have had really good results here I think that really helps because you know you can be fast so you can have a little bit less doubt in you I guess.