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IndyCar: Simona de Silvestro still pursuing sponsorship for 2014 season

Jan 23, 2014, 1:47 PM EDT

Simona de Silvestro smiles during practice for the Indianapolis 500 in Indianapolis. Reuters

The sponsorship hunt continues for IndyCar Series fan favorite Simona de Silvestro, who completed her fourth season in the series last year for KV Racing Technology but currently doesn’t have a ride lined up for 2014.

In an interview with Curt Cavin of The Indianapolis Star, the driver fondly known as the “Swiss Missile” revealed that she’s been back home in Switzerland trying to drum up support; Cavin reports that she was not in attendance for last week’s IndyCar winter meetings in Indianapolis.

“There are companies here that are kind of interested [in IndyCar],” de Silvestro told Cavin. “At the end of the day, I want to be in IndyCar, so that took a little bit of priority [over meetings].”

De Silvestro overcame a rough mid-season stretch and finished 2013 strong, earning her first career IndyCar podium in Race 1 of the Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston doubleheader last October.

The breakthrough in Houston had her optimistic about her future path in the sport, but she wants to make sure that wherever she ends up on the IndyCar grid, she’ll continue to have a chance to flourish.

“The big challenge is what [can] field me the right way,” De Silvestro said to Cavin about teams that could acquire her services. “It has got to be the right environment.”

Considering that De Silvestro had to go through the 2012 season with the devastatingly poor Lotus engine – in hindsight, a season that no racer would wish upon even their most bitter rival – it’s understandable why she wants to make sure she has a competitive program.

But while there are more than two months to go before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 30, there’s only a handful of potential rides remaining to be filled.

Returning to KV opposite Sebastien Bourdais could be an option, but there are also second cars open at Dale Coyne Racing and Rahal Letterman Lanigan. Also unconfirmed at this time are drives at Barracuda Racing and Panther Racing (although they recently tested Colombian driver Carlos Huertas at Sebring).

  1. convincedofthehex - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    What happened to all her Nuclear Energy sponsorship? I thought she was fully funded in the past. I also thought there were issues with her management team not getting along well with team ownership. Good to see Curt Cavin doing some thorough reporting.

  2. zenracer - Jan 23, 2014 at 6:30 PM

    Hope she is on the grid for 2014!

  3. indycar02 - Jan 24, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    its good to see their are 5 teams (kv, panther, rll,barracuda, dc) open for a second driver.

  4. indycar02 - Jan 24, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    hey.. swiss air (travel), WHAT are you waiting for?!?…

  5. worknman24hours - Jan 25, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    Simone has amazing driving talent but isn’t that good at marketing herself.

    She doesn’t have to do the things Danica has but she sure could use some direction from a good career coach to bring the sponsorship money in.

    There are a lot of male drivers with great talent who don’t have sponsorship too.

    Simone should get better at making herself better for ad campaigns and the money to support her racing career would flow freely.

    She might do better in the European markets actually with getting racing money.

    This is real life and you have to do what you have to do to get the money necessary to go racing.

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