They say it’s the Racing Capital of Western Canada. The City of Edmonton, Alberta, is buzzing this week with race activities, in preparing for the upcoming Edmonton Indy. This Sunday, all 25 drivers from the IZOD IndyCar Series will compete in this season’s 11th race event at the City Centre Airport course, just a stone’s throw from the downtown streets.
"I’m looking forward to Edmonton, it’s always a fun event,” says Lotus HVM Racing driver Simona De Silvestro. “The team has been working really hard. My Lotus car in Toronto was the best I’ve ever had there, and I think we’ll have another good car in Edmonton. So, hopefully, we’ll have a good finish.”
After Toronto’s engine failure during the race two weeks ago, De Silvestro’s engine was sent to the UK for analysis and repairs.
Motorsport Engine Manager for Lotus, Vincent Pereme comments: “The Edmonton Lotus engine will be an updated spec from the Toronto engine. The new bits in it will be adding another noticeable step in performance and will bring us definitely closer to the competitors. We will still be behind but getting closer at every race. We already have another improvement planned for Mid-Ohio as the parts were not made available in time to be brought to Edmonton unfortunately. This modification will bring a further step up in our fluid dynamics efficiency".
He adds “On the reliability side, we were unfortunate to have an issue on the engine which wasn’t related to the newly introduced engine upgrade. This engine failure was a big blow to our expectations for the weekend. However, we have to bear in mind that all the engine manufacturers are experiencing reliability problems this year. We have found a fix for it and aren’t expecting any issues this weekend.”
Circuit length: 2.224-mile road course
Even though her mind is always on racing, Simona will be participating in many off-track activities this week. Aside from all the fun at the track, many activities are planned downtown this week. The most popular one is the Private Drivers Party, at Moriarty’s on Friday night. The group organising the party has secured 30 exotic cars that will “chauffeur” the IndyCar drivers and VIPs from their hotels to the event. Of course Simona would prefer to drive the exotic car herself. However, she will be driving an exotic car at track, at the end of day on Saturday, giving a contest winner “5 exciting laps-of-a-lifetime” around the track, to help raise money for a local children’s charity.
This Canadian venue is another favourite for the drivers. It is a well-known fact that Canadians are big open-wheel fans, and in Edmonton, the whole City supports the race. The drivers love the fact that the fans know their racing and reserve their tickets a year ahead of time. Many of them pick their summer vacation to attend this event. In Alberta, vacationing means getting an RV (recreational vehicle), and reserving a camping spot at the track for the whole race weekend.