Atlantic Championship standout Simona De Silvestro is hoping to make the move to the prestigious IndyCar series in 2010. She completed her first IndyCar test with HVM Racing in December and by all reports she did quite well in her inaugural outing. Regardless of her performance and success behind the wheel it would appear, at least for the time being, that her entry into the IndyCar series will be delayed.
This morning Curt Cavin, of the IndyStar, reported:
Atlantics product Simona de Silvestro, who recently tested with HVM Racing, has been told she must compete in some Firestone Indy Lights races and test an IndyCar on an oval track before she is allowed to drive such a car on an oval. She has no oval-track experience.
I don’t think anyone expected her to jump into IndyCar oval competition without extensive testing but adding a requirement to run a few Indy Lights races seems a bit much. I can think of a few drivers who were allowed to make the jump to IndyCar without any time in Lights or at least a significant amount of single-seater experience. Simona has certainly proved herself behind the wheel of a racecar and I think it would be a shame if she were denied entry into the 2010 IndyCar series (should the funding fall into place). That said, I’m all for proper development and safety. If the IRL officials give her an appropriate oval evaluation— in an IndyCar— and feel that she’s not ready, then perhaps she should be forced to run a few Indy Lights races. Until that evaluation is done properly, I think it’s a bit soon to require her to run Lights.
What do you think?