Simona De Silvestro was a mix of visible relief and smiles after completing her first road course race with Paretta Autosport. In the No. 16 Chevy run by Ed Carpenter Racing, the open-wheel veteran from Switzerland spent the afternoon playing it smart as she improved from P27 to P21 at the finish.
Although De Silvestro isn’t wired to be excited about finishes outside the top five, the placement of her ECR teammates—with Conor Daly in P14 and Rinus VeeKay in P17—suggests the Chevy-powered outfit was unable to demonstrate its most competitive form at the 55-lap Road America round.
“It was interesting getting thrown into some fuel saving and stuff like that which I haven’t done in a really long time,” she told RACER. “So it was [a day of] getting on top of everything, but wasn’t too bad for my first race back. We did 55 laps. I think that’s the most I did the whole weekend. So yeah, I’m pretty happy about that.”
De Silvestro is confident the weekend at Road America will help greatly when she returns in a few weeks for the next race at Mid-Ohio.
“At the beginning, we could push quite a lot and I was actually quite quicker than a car in front of me,” she said. “I tried to pass a few people and then we had to get onto the fuel strategy. Overall, I’m glad it all came back to me pretty quickly.”