Andretti adds Simona de Silvestro to Indy 500 lineup

Simona de Silvestro seen at the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season opener at the Grand Prix of St. Pete.

Ernie Masche

After a one-year absence, Simona de Silvestro’s return to the Indianapolis 500 is official, as the female driver from Switzerland will round out a five-car Andretti Autosport lineup for the big race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 24.

De Silvestro made her return to the Verizon IndyCar Series in last Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg starting 11th and finishing 18th. That was a one-race deal with team owner Michael Andretti, who earlier in the weekend announced that seven-time IndyCar race winner and former Formula One driver Justin Wilson would drive for the team at the Indy 500.

“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 Indy car, I will for sure have one of the best opportunities to win during the Month of May. I’m really looking forward to racing the No. 29 TE Connectivity car for the 99th Running of the Indy 500.”

De Silvestro and Wilson join the team’s three full-time drivers in this year’s Memorial Day Weekend classic, including defending Indianapolis 500 winner and 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, two-time IndyCar race winner Marco Andretti and young driver Carlos Munoz of Colombia.

“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. “We could not have found a better partner than TE Connectivity to be the primary sponsor of the No. 29. While their experience in racing is longstanding 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.”

Global technology company TE Connectivity is the sponsor. De Silvestro’s car was unveiled Thursday at The Franklin Institute, located in the heart of Philadelphia, where she joined TE Connectivity representatives to discuss STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) initiatives in racing with local junior high and high school students. 

“TE Connectivity’s connectivity and sensor technologies are in every Andretti Autosport Indy car and meet the high performance standards and extreme conditions that Andretti Autosport requires,” said Amy Shah, chief marketing officer, TE Connectivity. “We’re proud to be associated with Andretti Autosport and Simona de Silvestro, two groundbreaking leaders in motorsports. We believe the No. 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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