Allen credits De Silvestro for Bathurst performance

Dunlop Series
17 Oct
'I was in the best mindset and physical state I could be in to get good results'
3 mins by James Pavey
  • Kai Allen and Simona De Silvestro paired up in a DJR wildcard

  • Allen won the Super2 finale and the round at Mount Panorama

  • 18-year-old rookie was the youngest driver in the Great Race field

Kai Allen has paid tribute to Simona De Silvestro’s efforts to open up his Bathurst weekend, which delivered a Super2 round win and maiden Great Race finish.

Teenager Allen combined with De Silvestro in a third Shell V-Power Racing Team Ford, and they duly raced the car to 20th in the 161-lap race.

It came on a weekend Allen, 18, had to negotiate a tricky Super2 round which ended in race and round victory, keeping his title hopes alive.

At the centre of it all was De Silvestro, who proved a hit with fans on her first appearance at Mount Panorama since 2019.

As Allen grappled with double duty, a title fight and a Great race debut, De Silvestro handled the off-track activities to an extent that allowed her teen co-driver to flourish.

allen de silvestro 2

“It was a full-on week, so much busier than what I’m used to, but Simona was great,” Allen told Supercars.com

“It was quite difficult, but we managed it quite well, all the schedules were managed and I had great people around me.

"She handled a lot of the media stuff and was able to look after signing sessions and other stuff when I was jumping in the Super2 car, or trying to look over data.

“She had a lot of great advice, things like finding the right balance and having a good mindset. It worked out really well, and I wasn’t too worn out by the end of the Sunday.

“That was proof I was in the best mindset and physical state I could be in to get good results in Super2 and the big race."

allen de silvestro

Allen was supported by his parents and sister, who pushed the South Aussie driver through the weekend, from scheduling to rest, as well as food intake.

Little could ready Allen for swapping his high downforce Super2 Eggleston Commodore in race trim for the Gen3 Mustang for main game qualifying, which admittedly, was a big challenge.

“It was quite tricky, I had the first Super2 race then 10 minutes to regroup and straight into main game qualifying,” he recounted.

“I probably left a bit on the table [in Supercars qualifying] because I didn't get a chance to look through everything we had planned to, but I did the best I could and was still happy with the end result.

“You have a few minutes to yourself sitting in the car, regrouping and adjusting and then you’re straight into it.”

Come race day, however, Allen and De Silvestro brought the car home, despite the latter being turned around twice and almost escorted into the Griffins Bend barriers.

Fiore sends De Silvestro into a spin

Regardless, Allen was delighted to share the moment with his Swiss star co-driver, and revelled in returning a straight car to DJR.

“We kept it clean all day, Simona got turned around twice, but that’s racing — although it cost us track position and time,” he said.

“I jumped in for the end which was pretty cool, I got to finish the race, it was awesome seeing the fans towards the end of the race.

“The way it unfolded, with no no Safety Cars at the end, we couldn’t quite maximise tyres in last stint. We came out around the leaders, and I didn’t want to stuff their races up.

“But pushing Davey Reynolds along was cool, and crossing the line felt great, there wasn’t a mark on the car.”

Allen is 30 points behind Zak Best heading to the Dunlop Series finale, the VAILO Adelaide 500, on November 23-26.

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