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Q&A: Simona de Silvestro (Atlantic Championship)


Simona de Silvestro is currently embarking on a fourth season of racing in the USA, hoping to follow in the footsteps of other female drivers such as Danica Patrick and Katherine Legge by graduating to the upper echelons of the sport from a grounding in the Atlantic Championship.

The 20-year old from Switzerland will this weekend take to the track at Miller Motorsport Park in Utah keen to add to her solitary series win from 2008, racing with the Team Stargate Worlds outfit.


Q:
Simona, how were you feeling before the start of the 2009 championship?

Simona de Silvestro:
I've never been so motivated! This will be my third season in Formula Atlantic and I think it's the right moment to raise my game to another level. After winning a race last year, and scoring several podium finishes, I'd like to go for the title, and I think that's possible. I know the car and its range of set-ups like the back of my hand and the same goes for the circuits that we'll race on. So I'm determined to win!

Q:
How have you trained for this season?

SdS:
I don't think I've ever done as much fitness training as this winter. I've tried to do everything to stack all the odds in my favour and it's already starting to bear fruit. In private
testing at the beginning of March, I felt more at home in the car and my times were quicker and more competitive. Sacrifices pay off!

Q:
How did your first race go?

SdS:
I came fifth on my first outing with the team and, in the testing that followed, I broke the track record! It won't be long before we start racking up good results - and why not this weekend?

Q:
How do you get on with Frankie Muniz, your team-mate, better known as Malcolm on the small screen?

SdS:
We know each other well as he made his competition debut the year I arrived in the United States to race. We were both entered in the BMW Championship, and then we moved up to Formula Atlantic at the same time. We've always been racing against each other! Frankie's a really nice guy. He loves racing and he's not a bit swollen-headed. When I see him I see the driver, not the actor!

Q:
You're also a heroine in a video game thanks to your team, Stargate Worlds....

SdS:
The team's named after the famous on-line game developed by Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment. Frankie and I are part of it. Our characters are intergalactic drivers. It's an unbelievable experience as I'm projected into the virtual world!

Q:
Don't you find it a bit tough sometimes living thousands of kilometres away from your friends and family?

SdS:
I'd be lying if I said it's easy, but that's the price I have to pay to achieve my dreams and fulfil my ambitions. Today, I'm lucky to be racing in a hotly-contested championship in which I'm on the pace, so I'm not going to complain. I've always wanted to make motor racing my profession and I'm on the point of achieving this aim.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Simona de Silvestro - Walker Racing   [pic courtesy Champ Car Atlantic Championship]
Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud, Tony Kanaan and Gil De Ferran during a press conference at IMS (Photo by: Tim Holle for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud, Tony Kanaan and Gil De Ferran during a press conference at IMS (Photo by: Tim Holle for IndyCar Media)
Simona De Silvestro, driver of the #78 Nuclear Entergy Areva KV Racing Technology Chevrolet, celebrates her second place finish Saturday October 5, 2013 during the Grand Prix of Houston IndyCar Race 1 in Houston, Texas. It was De Silvestro’s first-career podium finish, and her IZOD IndyCar Series career-best finish. (Photo Credit: Perry Nelson for Chevy Racing)
Simona De Silvestro, driver of the #78 Nuclear Entergy Areva KV Racing Technology Chevrolet, celebrates her second place finish Saturday October 5, 2013 during the Grand Prix of Houston IndyCar Race 1 in Houston, Texas. It was De Silvestro’s first-career podium finish, and her IZOD IndyCar Series career-best finish. (Photo Credit: Perry Nelson for Chevy Racing)
Simona De Silvestro, driver of the #78 Nuclear Entergy Areva KV Racing Technology Chevrolet, celebrates her second place finish Saturday October 5, 2013 during the Grand Prix of Houston IndyCar Race 1 in Houston, Texas. It was De Silvestro’s first-career podium finish, and her IZOD IndyCar Series career-best finish. (Photo Credit: Michael L. Levitt for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, Simona de Silvestro and Justin Wilson celebrate after race 1 of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston double-header on Saturday, October 5 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simona de Silvestro celebrates after race 1 of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston double-header on Saturday, October 5 2013. (Photo Credit: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Simona de Silvestro gets airborne in qualifying for the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT on Saturday, August 31 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
KV Racing duo Simona di Silvestro and Tony Kanaan at the Pocono Open Test - July 4, 2013. (Photo Credit: Brett Kelley for IndyCar Media.)
The wrecked #78 KV Racing Technology car of Simona de Silvestro is removed after an early accident in the second race of the Detroit Belle Isle double-header - Sunday June 2 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for indyCar Media.)
Simona de Silvestro on the fourth day of practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Tuesday May 14, 2013. (Picture Credit: Forrest Mellott for IndyCar Media)
Simona de Silvestro on the fourth day of practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Tuesday May 14, 2013. (Picture Credit: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Simona de Silvestro during Saturday practice for the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 - May 4, 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simona de Silvestro at Barber Motorsports Park. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simona de Silvestro at Barber Motorsports Park. (Photo Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Simona De Silvestro, driver of the #78 Nuclear Energy Areva KV Racing Technology Chevrolet IndyCar, will start in 3rd position for the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg race set for Sunday, March 24, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Phillip Abbott for Chevrolet)
Simona de Silvestro after qualifying for the Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg - March 2013. (Picture Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)

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