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IndyCar: Karam and de Silvestro back back in action at NOLA

Sage Karam and Simona de Silvestro will both be back in action this weekend for the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park.
Sage Karam and Simona de Silvestro will both return to action in the Verizon IndyCar Series this weekend, in the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park, the second race of the 2015 season.

Both drivers raced in the season opener a week ago on the streets of St Petersburg in Florida, but neither driver had been expected to be back in action so soon. Karam's entry was originally a one-off entry with Chip Ganassi Racing, while de Silvestro has subsequently been confirmed as returning to the Andretti Autosport line-up for May's Indianapolis 500.

Now both drivers will also participate in the first race at Louisiana which will take place over 75 laps on the newly renovated 2.74-mile, 13-turn road course in Avondale just outside New Orleans.

"It's great to get another shot in the car and improve on everything we learned in St. Petersburg," commented de Silvestro, who finished that race in 18th place after a year away from competition spent as an affiliated driver to the Sauber F1 team in her native Switzerland.

"I'm really looking forward to being able to work with everyone again and hopefully have a better race!" she added. "I'm really thankful for all that Michael and everyone at Andretti Autosport have been doing to make all of this happen."

"Simona obviously didn't have the greatest outcome in St. Pete, but she was always up there fighting to get ahead,” said Andretti Autosport president and CEO Michael Andretti. "She proved herself both on and off the track. The great thing about Simona is that she keeps her head down and continues to push – she fights hard. We're happy to be able to bring her back for another round before the Indy 500."

De Silvestro will be carrying Ochsner Health System's branding on the #25 Andretti entry for the race, along with the Racing for Kids badge. The 26-year-old will join Racing for Kids to visit young patients at Ochsner Hospital for Children on Thursday in advance of the weekend racing.

As for Karam, his #8 entry will continue to carry sponsorship from COMFORT REVOLUTION and Big Machine Records. The former Indy Lights Champion became the youngest Indy Lights Champion in history at 18 years old in 2013 and signed a multi-year deal last season as a Chip Ganassi Racing development driver which began with the 2014 Indianapolis 500.

He kept out of trouble at St Pete and finished 19th in the season opener, in what was his first-ever street course race appearance. Still just 20, the event saw Karam become became the youngest driver in Ganassi history to start an IndyCar race, beating Scott Dixon who was 22 when he made his first appearance for the team at the Milwaukee Mile in 2002.

“I'm honoured to be back in the #8 car this weekend at NOLA," said Karam. "I'm looking forward to applying what I learned in St. Petersburg to this weekend.

"We've run a few tests here so I'm definitely more comfortable in the car than I was in St Petersburg," he continued. "I'll be looking to my Ganassi team mates to help me with my learning curve so we can make sure the COMFORT REVOLUTION/Big Machine Records car has a good run in this inaugural race."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sage Karam on course during open testing at Barber Motorsport Park on Monday March 16 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens 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 at Barber Motorsports Park. (Photo Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Chip Ganassi speaks with Sage Karam (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Sage Karam (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media.)
Sage Karam. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Alexander Rossi - Andretti Autosport   [pic credit: Indycar Media/Joe Skibinski]
Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske) celebrates winning the 2016 IndyCar title with victory at Sonoma   [pic credit: Chris Owens]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Ed Jones celebrates winning the 2016 Indy Lights championship
Kyle Kaiser (Juncos Racing) celebrates at Laguna Seca
Kyle Kaiser - Juncos Racing
Ed Carpenter Racing crew working on the boss` car   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Indy Lights action
Indy Lights title contender Santiago Urrutia, Ed Jones, Dean Stoneman, Felix Serralles, Kyle Kaiser and Zach Veach   [pic credit: IndyCar Media]
Santiago Urrutia - Schmidt Petersen Motorsport
Will Power - Team Penske
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to victory at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]

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