HVM Racing and Team Stargate Worlds wrapped up a successful IndyCar test with Simona de Silvestro behind the wheel at Sebring this week, marking the Swiss driver's first steps towards a possible IRL career.
De Silvestro ran 147 laps over two days in Florida without putting a wheel wrong, impressing team owner Keith Wiggins and the men who helped propel her to an Atlantic Championship title shot, Team Stargate Worlds principals Shane Seneviratne and Imran Safiulla.
"She was very impressive," Wiggins admitted, "From the first laps, she showed she was capable of driving the car fast and she progressed rapidly. She was fast, consistent and gave good driver feedback. In fact, by the second half of the first day, we were so comfortable that we began working on development of our 2010 programme using her feedback.
"By day two, I think everyone forgot she wasn't a seasoned professional. Everyone enjoyed working with her."
de Silvestro finished third in the 2009 Atlantic Championship, winning four races and leading for much of the season before being pegged back by Newman Wachs duo John Edwards and Jonathan Summerton.
"These were two very important days for us and our commercial partners,” Seneviratne commented, “We want to thank Keith and the entire HVM organisation for making us feel right at home.
”Simona got comfortable in the car over the last few days and it has been very exciting to get a glimpse of what may lie ahead. We would like to thank the IndyCar Series for making this test possible."
The 21-year old driver said that it did not take long to get accustomed to the IndyCar.
"It was a dream come true to step into the cockpit of the Stargate: Resistance IndyCar," she said, "I got comfortable right away and soon came up to speed. Overall, I thought the test was excellent.
“I need to thank Gary Whiting at Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment. along with Imran, Shane, and the rest of Team Stargate Worlds for making this happen. Thanks too to Keith Wiggins and the engineers for making the experience so enjoyable and for supporting me - HVM is a first-class organisation."
HVM will return Robert Doornbos to the #33 car in 2010 and is currently exploring options for its second car following the departure of EJ Viso, who was due to test with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.