Yesterday in Philadelphia, Andretti Autosport and TE Connectivity came together to announce that Simona de Silvestro would pilot the No. 29 Honda in the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500. The unveiling of the bright orange livery, perfectly matched the Spring-like temperatures and sunny weather that the East Coast & Midwest are finally starting to feel. de Silvestro joins Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, Carlos Munoz and recently announced, Justin Wilson in the Andretti Indy 500 line up.
Andretti Autosport and de Silvestro had a diverse audience when their news went public – from school-aged children visiting the Franklin Insitute to the employees of her new sponsor. Simona took that opportunity to discuss something vital to all audience members as well as our society as a whole – the importance of engineers, current and future, in our world and specifically in motorsports. The STEM initiative, promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in school curriculum, has been a passion of many in the racing world as of late. These subjects are where we will see job growth and security as the economy changes and adapts to the world we live in. Students who choose a focus in these fields will see more doors open to them as they begin their job searches and aim to be productive members of the work world in upcoming decades.
“I’m so excited to be representing TE Connectivity at this year’s Indy 500. It’s really great that they’re partnering with me in my efforts – with their advance technologies in my Honda Indy car, I will for sure have one of the best opportunities to win during the Month of May.” – Simona de Silvestro, driver Andretti Autosport
de Silvestro has a great understanding of the machine she pilots when on course for the Verizon IndyCar Series. Just last week in St. Petersburg, Michael Andretti had great things to say about how much of an asset she is in the car and out of the car, given her feedback and talent. He mentioned that they were working on something for a fifth car in the 500 and it was great to hear that everything came together for de Silvestro to be the one in that seat.
“Simona did a great job for us in St. Pete and we are excited to add her as a fifth Andretti entry for the Indy 500. I look forward to a successful future with TE Connectivity as part of the Andretti family.” – Michael Andretti, team owner Andretti Autosport
2015 will mark the fifth time she has contested the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Her best finish at the Indy 500 was in 2010 when she placed P14. She sounded confident yesterday, in her ability to really make a fight for the victory. A win at the 500 would be historic, as a female driver has never drank the milk in Victory Circle. The first woman to lead laps at the Indy 500 was Danica Patrick in 2005. Patrick was also the first woman to finish on the podium in Indiana, with a P3 result at the 2009 Indy 500. Can de Silvestro make more history this May with a pole or a win? It’s certainly not out of the question.
Last year, the sole woman to enter & qualify for the Indianapolis 500 was Pippa Mann, with Dale Coyne Racing. She has been working hard to get a ride for the 500 again this year and if she does so, we will back to rooting for multiple female drivers at the Yard of Bricks. This is a trend we need to see more of in racing, especially open-wheel. I would love to see these talented women receive full-season rides in the coming years. They are great for our sport, talented on the track and fan favorites in the paddock.
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