Simona de Silvestro: "Determined to win "

15.05.2009: 20-year-old Simona de Silvestro from Switzerland is starting her fourth season in the USA. This weekend she is racing in her second Formula Atlantic event of the 2009 season in the Miller Motorsport Park in Tooele (Utah) with every chance of winning

20-year-old Simona de Silvestro from Switzerland is starting her fourth season in the USA. This weekend she is racing in her second Formula Atlantic event of the 2009 season in the Miller Motorsport Park in Tooele (Utah) with every chance of winning.

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

SdS: "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!"

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!"

How did your first race go?
SdS:" I came fifth on my first outing with the team. 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?"

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

"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!"

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!"

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

"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.


Date of birth: 1st September 1988
Place of birth: Thun, Switzerland
Nationality: Swiss/Italian
Place of residence: Phoenix, Arizona
Number of races: 78

It didn't take long for Simona's talent behind the wheel to show itself. In 2002 and 2003, she raced karts and came second in the Trofeo Industria and the Swiss Bridgestone Cup, as well as finishing seventh in the Swiss Championship. In 2004, she competed in the French Formula A Championship finishing fifteenth. The following year she moved up to single-seaters and came twenty-first in the Italian Renault 2.0 Championship.

In 2006, aged eighteen she moved to the United States and raced in her first American BMW Championship. She ended the year in fourth place overall after winning at Lime Rock as well as scoring six podium finishes and eleven top-10 placings. She saw the flag twice in the first three in the races held as curtain-raisers to the USA F1 Grand Prix, and so became the first woman to appear on the podium at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

In 2007, Simona decided to enter the Formula Atlantic Championship. She had two top-10 finishes and scored points in nine of the twelve events. The following year she finished in the top 10 on eight occasions and scored a victory at Long Beach.

-SDS -


15.05.2009 / MaP

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