Simona de Silvestro can flat-out race. That’s the only way to put it.
Last year, Simona limped along through the last portion of the schedule with a sled that wouldn’t have been out of place as décor on the set of Sanford and Son. But before that, she showed what she could do. At Edmonton. At Mid-Ohio. At Indy, where she was Rookie of the Year.
I didn’t get the impression the last races of that season were anything but frustration, duct tape, and sheer willpower for that entire team. But Simona and HVM Racing kept at it, and yesterday, Entergy signed on for a 3-year primary sponsorship. Primary. We’re talking the key sidepod real-estate, friends. For the next three years at the least, we get to enjoy the enthusiasm, skill, and personality of a truly promising driver.
So when I go to the IndyCar online store or visit the IMS gift shop, I need to be able to get my daughter a Simona t-shirt, or a Simona hat, or add a Simona die-cast car to the collection. We need her on series promo items.
|Feelin' The Entergy|
We don’t know what will happen with Danica Patrick, and Sarah Fisher’s retired, but I’m not lobbying for this just because IndyCar needs a lady driver to market. We have a personable, fun driver who happens to be a woman. But as I’ve said before, as the parent of a six-year old girl IndyCar fan, I think Simona is a great driver for her to follow, respect, and learn from. Is she going to be a rock star? I don’t know, but she’s not a gimmick. She’s impressed seasoned fans, she’s impressed and drawn the notice of casual fans, and she’s even got the respect of people who normally don’t care much for IndyCar.
Simona’s got a lot of marketability, and I hope the series takes notice. We have personable, affable statesmen in drivers such as Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti, but we have a young cast of drivers that are going to be around for awhile that are great, quality additions to the series. Let’s hope IndyCar seizes the great opportunity to introduce the Swiss Miss to the masses, and gives me opportunities to spend my “racing allowance” on some wicked HVM and Simona gear. For, um, my daughter.
Image by Manningmbd. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.