KV Racing Technology officially confirmed Tuesday that it has signed Swiss IndyCar driver Simona De Silvestro for the 2013 IZOD IndyCar season. De Silvestro joins current driver Tony Kanaan, which the team noted will be "making the team a two-car entry." There was no mention of 2012 KV racers Rubens Barrichello and EJ Viso, who will evidently be moving on.
By joining KV De Silvestro will gain her first opportunity to run with a teammate in IndyCars, having raced solo for HVM Racing since 2010. She will also have Chevrolet power, leaving behind the disappointing Lotus engine which limited her prospects this year. brings with her the Nuclear Clean Air Energy campaign sponsorship.
De Silvestro was an Atlantic Championship title contender before moving into IndyCar. Her best result so far in IndyCar is fourth in St. Petersburg in 2011 – when she battled memorably with Kanaan for a podium spot.
“I'm really excited to be joining KV Racing Technology,” De Silvestro said, “I think it's going to be great having Tony as a teammate. It's never easy to make a change like this, but I'm confident that it's the right move for me going forward.
"I do want to thank Keith [Wiggins] and HVM Racing for helping me gain a ton of experience these last three years. Even though we struggled last year with our engine, I learned a lot. Now it's time to move on and look forward to next season. I'm proud of the fact that I'm the spokesperson for the Nuclear Clean Air Energy campaign and very happy that Entergy, AREVA, and all my sponsors will continue to support my racing efforts.”
The Nuclear Clean Air Energy Sponsorship is comprised of multiple members of the nuclear industry most notable being Entergy Nuclear and AREVA.
“I'm excited for Simona,” John Herron, CEO of Entergy Nuclear, said. “This is the first time she will have a teammate in the IndyCar series and I think Tony Kanaan is going to be a really good one for her. Entergy is looking forward to being part of KV Racing Technology and we're very happy that we will now be working with Chevrolet. We think Simona is a great driver and ambassador for our industry and look forward to continuing our support of her racing endeavors.”
Team co-founder Kevin Kalkhoven enthusiastically welcomed De Silvestro come on board.
"I am very happy to welcome Simona to KV Racing Technology," he said. "I have been watching her race for many years and she shows tremendous talent. I think we will really see this on the road/street courses and having Tony as a teammate will provide her a wealth of information, so I am excited for what the 2013 season will hold."
KV Racing Technology also added Imran Safiulla as a team principal. Safiulla, an international industrialist who has supported De Silvestro's racing efforts since 2006, expects the new arrangement to be a successful endeavor for both De Silvestro and KV Racing Technology.
"We are delighted to announce Simona to KV,” said team co-owner Jimmy Vasser. “She has shown a lot of determination and to now be able to work with someone as experienced as Kanaan will be a huge asset for her. I would also like to welcome our new co-owner Imran Safiulla to the team and hope we have a successful 2013."
De Silvestro got acquainted with the team by testing yesterday at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. The team expects to test again at Texas and Sebring before the end of the year.
"Good and fun day in the @kvracing car today in Barber! And it was fun to work with @tonykanaan!" she tweeted.