Simona de Silvestro had promoted the Baltimore Grand Prix once before, and was back to do likewise under its new promoters on Thursday – while coupling it in with the launch of her car's new livery.
One of the issues presented to de Silvestro and Lotus HVM Racing in 2012 was how to merge the Nuclear Clean Air Energy sponsorship with the branding of its engine supplier and technical partner Lotus. With both partners sporting different shades of green, the two were combined, with Lotus green at the front and the sponsor's at the rear.
De Silvestro tweeted, “New Nuclear clean energy car looking good!! I love it!!!”
The color scheme reveal aside, de Silvestro was primarily in Baltimore to give downtown workers, shoppers and residents a taste of the new car and engine on Light Street. De Silvestro and her crew also did a pit stop demonstration after unveiling the team's No. 78 car in front of the InterContinental Harbor Court Baltimore, a team partner that played host to the event.
Both IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard, who was in attendance, and American Le Mans Series president and CEO Scott Atherton expressed optimism about the new event promoters, Downforce Racing.
“It's very important to be coming back," Bernard said. "This event had a tremendous crowd last year. It was an exciting race course. It's a beautiful city. It has every element IndyCar wanted that resonates a great race. It's very important to keep a great race, and we really believe it can become a staple in our series and be one of our top events every year.”
“We're very pleased with the new partnership between the City of Baltimore and Downforce Racing, confirming the continuation of the Baltimore Grand Prix,” Atherton added. “The group is very qualified from both an operational and a financial perspective, making it a wise choice for the growth of this great event. The new agreement is in the best interests for all parties and sets a course for the long-term success of the race. We look forward to working with Downforce Racing, the Mayor's office and all involved to build on the success of the inaugural event.
“There's no question this news will be extremely well received by all ALMS teams, sponsors – and especially our fans. As was witnessed in 2011, the greater Baltimore/Washington area is full of ALMS enthusiasts and this year's event will no doubt attract even more.”