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Fans favourite exits Indy 500 early

Swiss racing car driver Simona de Silvestro has failed to finish the Indy 500 in the United States.

The 22-year-old with HVM Racing was one of four women to race in the 100th anniversary of the world-class event in Indiana on Sunday.

She brushed the wall early in the race, never got back on the lead lap and eventually dropped out with handling problems after finishing 44 of 200 laps.

The 500-mile-long contest – where 33 drivers compete at speeds close to 370 km/h was won by British driver Dan Wheldon.

De Silvestro became a fan favourite when she returned to the track two days after burning both hands in a frightening crash on May 19 that left her car skidding down the track upside down and on fire.

Last year she was named Rookie of the Year during her first Indy 500, in which she finished 14th.

The Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, along with the Monaco Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, are considered the three biggest contests in long-distance motor sports. The track consists of one 4km oval around which 33 racers do 200 laps.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR