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Jim Williams: De Silvestro takes on top stars of IndyCar

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Sports,Jim Williams

While Danica Patrick finds her way in the NASCAR series, there is another woman driver who wants to make her mark in the racing world. Simona de Silvestro is a talented IndyCar driver who hails from Switzerland, and while it might be easy says that she is just another pretty face, to overlook her vast skills as a driver would be unwise.

At 24, de Silvestro is in her fourth year on the IndyCar series. In 2012, she spent a very disappointing season driving an underpowered Lotus for the HVM team. This year, she moved to the KV Racing Technology team, joining the talented Tony Kanaan. Last week as the season got underway on the streets of St. Petersburg, she qualified her No. 78 KV Racing Chevy in third and after a solid afternoon on the street course, she finished an impressive sixth place.

This week at 3 p.m. on NBC Sports Network, de Silvestro will be racing at the Grand Prix of Alabama on the 2.38-mile road course at Barber Motorsports Park. I had a chance to speak with her about the racing and her new team.

What is it like to be with the KV Racing?

De Silvestro » "We have a great team, and Tony [Kanaan] is a great teammate. Last week is St. Petersburg, we were both able to finish in the top 10, and that is an awesome start to the season. I have a car that has plenty of Chevy power and a great team working with me. There is no reason that we can't make a few podium finishes."

Is there any special pressure on you because are woman?

De Silvestro » "No, I really just think of myself as a driver. This year as part of KV Racing, I would love to finish in the top 10 and make a few podiums. I feel that I have always raced against both men women, but in the end, we are all out to win."

Has Tony Kanaan pulled a practical joke on you yet?

De Silvestro » "No, not yet. I think that he will wait until later in the season, but I have no doubt that he will pull a practical joke on me."

Examiner columnist Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. Follow him on Twitter @wordmandc.

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