Simona De Silvestro’s goal for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 is to continue improving across the four days, as she prepares to tackle the entire Virgin Australia Supercars Championship next year.
The Swiss racer is excited to be back at Mount Panorama as one part of the Harvey Norman Supergirls wild card entry with young driver Renee Gracie.
The pair reunites after last year’s debut at Bathurst, but race a different Supercar this year after switching from a Ford Falcon FG X to a Nissan Altima.
The girls spent two days testing at Winton Motor Raceway last week to prepare for the event. There are four one-hour practice sessions open to all drivers at Bathurst, with three purely for the listed co-driver.
De Silvestro thinks it is enough track time before tackling the big race on Sunday.
“I think we will be ok … there is some practice and all that for sure,” De Silvestro told supercars.com.
“Bathurst is such a tricky place as well, but I think we will be okay. We will chip away at it every time we are in the car – that’s what’s important. I think the biggest thing is, we need to improve every time we are in the car, so that’s going to be the main thing.”
Her team for next year is set to be announced after Bathurst – but that is taking a back seat as she focuses on getting the job done with Gracie.
“Right now, only racing is important. Everything else can happen after,” De Silvestro said.
While a race against the regulars at one of the toughest places on the calendar is a good leg up, De Silvestro talked down her expectations for next year.
“It’s hard because … you are racing against guys who have been racing for like 15 years, so you can’t compare yourself to that.
“My main focus for sure, knowing that I’m going to be racing in the series, is to really improve every time I’m in the car and start to really learn what I have to do, how I have to adapt as a driver because you know my open wheel background doesn’t really matter in this car.
“So [focus is] to improve and then when we get close enough to start working on the car, then we should be okay.”
There was plenty of interest at this morning’s media call in the Bathurst pit lane, and De Silvestro is used to the hype after the Harvey Norman Supergirls’ reception last year.
“It’s good to be back, I’m looking forward to getting in the car and everything feels a bit more normal right now because I have been around it last year.
“All these things going on, but it is a bit more normal.”