Swiss driver Simona de Silvestro had been confirmed as making a return to oval racing in 2015, with Andretti Autosport announcing that they would be fielding a fifth car in the Indianapolis 500 in May.

De Silvestro was back in action in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship at last week's season opener at St Petersburg in Florida, and finished in 18th place in what at the time was a one-off deal with the team that has now been expanded to include the world's most famous motor race.

"Simona did a great job for us in St Pete and we are excited to add her as a fifth Andretti entry for the Indy 500," said team owner Michael Andretti.

As well as the team's regular drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay (2014 Indianapolis 500 race winner), Marco Andretti and Carlos Munoz (2013 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year), di Silvestro will additionally be joined by Justin Wilson who will be at the wheel of the team's #25 entry. Wilson will also be driving at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis road course race earlier in the month.

The 26-year-old is currently the only female driver confirmed to participate in the 99th running of the Indy 500. Previously, de Silvestro raced full-time in IndyCar for HVM Racing between 2010 and 2012, followed by a season as Tony Kanaan's team mate at KV Racing Technology. She has a total of 66 race starts in the series and achieved her first podium finish with second place at Houston in 2013, and spent last year as an affiliated driver with the Sauber F1 team.

De Silvestro's sponsorship will come from global technology company TE Connectivity. The announcement was made on Thursday at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, where she appeared with TE Connectivity representatives to discuss STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) initiatives in racing with local junior high and high school students.

"I'm so excited to be representing TE Connectivity at this year's Indy 500," said de Silvestro. "It's really great that they're partnering with me in my efforts during the Indy 500, and with their advance technologies in my Honda IndyCar, I will for sure have one of the best opportunities to win during the Month of May."

"We could not have found a better partner than TE Connectivity to be the primary sponsor of the #29," added Michael Andretti "While their experience in racing is long-standing with their connector and sensor solutions, they are new to the sponsorship team and show great passion for the sport.

"I look forward to a successful future with TE Connectivity as part of the Andretti family," he added.

"TE Connectivity's connectivity and sensor technologies are in every Andretti Autosport IndyCar and meet the high performance standards and extreme conditions that Andretti Autosport requires," contributed Amy Shah, TE Connectivity's chief marketing officer. "We're proud to be associated with Andretti Autosport and Simona de Silvestro, two ground-breaking leaders in motorsports.

"We believe the #29 TE Connectivity car incorporates a potent blend of advanced engineering, one of the world's most exciting female drivers and deep autosport history that will be exciting to watch at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this May."



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