HOUSTON, TX - Saturday, October 5, 2013 - Competing in brutal conditions that featured temperatures in the mid-nineties and 100% humidity, KV Racing Technology driver Simona De Silvestro drove a spectacular race to finish a career-high second in the Shell & Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston Race No. 1 in Houston, Texas. Teammate Tony Kanaan was forced out of the contest early with a braking issue due to high temperatures.
Following a problematic first day on track yesterday, Race One qualifying was rescheduled for today just hours before the start of the race. De Silvestro, behind the wheel of the No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy - KV Racing Technology machine, qualified sixth, but gridded fifth after a penalty was accessed to a competitor for an unauthorized engine change. She moved into fourth place on lap eight and charged into third place on lap 26. De Silvestro was in the top-five the vast majority of the race and in the top-six for all but 11 of the 90-lap competition. She made several dramatic passes to remain in contention and drove a flawless race. In addition to it being her first IndyCar career podium, it was also her IndyCar career best finish, third career-top-five and second in as many races.
"Finally we have our podium," De Silvestro said. "We've been waiting for this for a long time. It seemed like a pretty good car the whole weekend. I qualified up there and then the race went actually pretty good. I really have to thank everybody at KV Racing, and also everybody from the Nuclear Clean Air Energy campaign for sticking with me. I also want to thank AREVA for bringing out the engineering students from Texas A&M. I guess they're my good luck charm and will have to show up tomorrow and hopefully we can do even better."
"Very happy for Simona," said Imran Safiulla, Director of the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy car. "It's a great day in her pursuit as she moves up the ladder in her IndyCar career. It's a great day for our team; a great day for our campaign. She has one more step to go and she'll get that soon. I'd like to thank all of our partners in the Nuclear Clean Air Energy campaign including Entergy and AREVA for continuing to believe in us; Chevy for giving us a great platform and for the entire team for all their hard work to get us to this point. Hopefully there'll be a lot more success. Hell of a job by Simona; she did a fantastic job and we're proud of her."
Kanaan, in the No. 11 Hydroxycut - KV Racing Technology - SH Racing entry, qualified 15th and started 13th after penalties to two competitors for unauthorized engine changes. He quickly moved into 11th place, but shortly thereafter his brake temperatures began to soar. At that point, because of the brake issue, Kanaan began to lose positions. On lap 18, he was headed to the pits because of the brake issue, but before he could get there he slid off track as a result of the problem. The team took the car back to the garage, affected repairs and Kanaan returned to the track for a 15-lap shakedown in preparation for tomorrow's race. He finished today's event 21st.
Commenting on his day, Kanaan said, "We had an okay car to start the race. Then unfortunately the brakes started going away unexpectedly. I tried to keep the car on track, but at that point it was impossible to drive. I brought it into the pits and the guys worked on it in the garage. We went back out for a few laps to check it out. Hopefully, we can have a good qualifying effort and a good race tomorrow."
De Silvestro, 25, scored 40 points today and sits 15th in the championship race with 318 points. In her last seven events she has strung together a series of solid results that has seen her jump four places in the standings and move within 64 points of 10th place. De Silvestro has placed in the top-10 seven times this year including three top-five finishes and the one podium. The determined native of Switzerland has qualified in the top-10six times this season with a best qualifying effort, and IndyCar career-high, third at St. Petersburg.
Kanaan, 38, earned nine points today and is 11thin the championship standings with 355 points.
He has six top-10 finishes including five top-five showings, three podiums and an extremely popular victory at the 2013 Indianapolis 500. The talented Brazilian has qualified in the top-10seventimes in 17 events this season with a best starting spot offourth at Toronto (Race 1) and Brazil.
Tomorrow's Shell & Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston Race No. 2 will be preceded by qualifying at 8:45 a.m. Race No. 2 will be broadcast live on NBC starting at 3:00 p.m. ET.
About KV Racing Technology
KV Racing Technology was founded in January 2003 and joined the IndyCar Series in 2008. The Indianapolis based team is owned by successful venture capitalist Kevin Kalkhoven and 1996 CART IndyCar World Series Champion Jimmy Vasser, with Indian industrialist Imran Safiulla joining the team this season as a partner. For more information about KV Racing Technology visit: www.kvracingtechnology.com or follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kvracing and Facebook: www.facebook.com/kvracingtechnology
About SH Racing
Founded in 2010, SH is led by Principal James "Sulli" Sullivan. In its Third year, SH expands with a full season alliance with KV Racing Technology in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
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, including more than 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation's leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 15,000 employees. For more information visit: www.entergynuclear.com and www.NuclearClearAirEnergy.com; on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NuclearCleanAirEnergy and on Twitter at @NuclearCleanAir
AREVA provides its customers with solutions for low-carbon power generation in North America and all over the world. As the leader in nuclear energy and a significant, growing player in the renewable energies sector, AREVA combines U.S. and Canadian leadership, access to worldwide expertise and a proven track record of performance. Sustainable development is a core component of AREVA's strategy. Its nearly 5,000 U.S. and Canadian employees work every day to make AREVA a responsible industrial player helping to supply ever cleaner, safer and more economical energy to the greatest number of people. AREVA Inc. is headquartered in Bethesda, Md. For more information visit: www.us.areva.com
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