Simona de Silvestro has escaped injury following a fire during today’s practice session for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500.
Her #29 TE Connectivity Honda/Dallara started trailing smoke as she was leaving the pit road warm up lane in turn 2. The smoke soon erupted into a fire and she coasted to stop in turn 3 and climbed from the car unharmed.
Andretti Autosport discovered that the fuel buckeye was stuck open and allowed ethanol to leak out and heat from the exhaust headers ignited the fire. The team will have to repair the car as there is no backup car entered for De Silvestro.
“We were going down the straightaway then I looked in my mirror and saw the car was on fire,” de Silvestro said. It’s definitely unfortunate because the car is pretty burnt down, and it’s really frustrating that it seems like fire follows me. Maybe this time is third time’s the charm, and hopefully the team can get the car back together as quickly as possible.”
“Until now, everything was working fine, and it’s just annoying because it’s a pretty big setback for us, but I have four great teammates and that will make it easier for us to continue moving forward.”