HVM Racing and Entergy Nuclear announced on Monday that they have entered into a three-year partnership for primary sponsorship of the IZOD IndyCar Series entry driven by Switzerland's Simona de Silvestro. Entergy has sponsored de Silvestro dating back to her winning foray in the Atlantic Championship in 2008, and was an associate sponsor on her car at the Indianapolis 500 last year, where she won the Rookie of the Year award.
“It's a really special feeling, and I'm excited for 2011,” de Silvestro, Iast year's Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, told IndyCar.com. “It's the first time in my career that I know I will be able to race not only this year, but for the next couple of years. We have a great partnership with Entergy and I'm glad they are coming aboard. Hopefully, we can bring the awareness of Nuclear Clean Energy and promote clean, low-cost and reliable nuclear energy.”
HVM team owner Keith Wiggins and John Herron, president, CEO and Chief Nuclear Officer at Entergy, unveiled the livery of the No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy/Entergy Dallara at the InterContinetal hotel in downtown Baltimore on Monday. The media event included a pit stop demonstration (BELOW) on a portion of the new street circuit that will host the Baltimore Grand Prix IndyCar and American Le Mans Series races in September.
"This is great news for HVM and for Simona," Wiggins said of the new sponsorship package. "It gives Simona a long-term opportunity to develop into a top IndyCar driver while the team will have a stable platform over multiple years to support our championship effort. It is a terrific marketing opportunity with a strong partner who has an important message and role in our world's future. We are going to make an impact on many fronts; within the nuclear energy industry, with Simona as an individual driver and within our sport overall."
Entergy is in its fourth year of a "Nuclear Clean Air Energy" national education campaign and got its first exposure to the IZOD IndyCar Series with HVM Racing at last year's Indianapolis 500. The goal of the Nuclear Clean Air Energy initiative is to use the platform of the IZOD IndyCar Series to spread the message about the benefits of nuclear energy as a source of carbon-free electricity. In addition to the element of education and public awareness, this campaign assists in recruiting quality engineers and professionals to the nuclear energy sector, an exciting job-growth industry.
"It is an important time for our country to hear our nuclear clean air energy story," Herron said. “With Simona as a lead spokesperson for our effort, teaming up with HVM and IndyCar brings visibility to the issue of U.S. energy policy, with multiple national opportunities to reach out to families and fans. Education is key to smarter energy consumers and doing so with a young role model like Simona couldn't be better. Having 'nuclear' on the side of a racecar is as all-American as racing itself, since nuclear energy generates 20 percent of all U.S. electricity already. Entergy wants everyone to learn more and get excited about our reliable, green source of electricity."
"It's great to be back with HVM," added de Silvestro. "They are a great team and it was amazing last year to spend my rookie season in IndyCar with them. Now with this sponsorship, I am more confident than ever that we'll have a great year!"