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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).

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