De Silvestro hunts for speed

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 08/10/2015
  • By Bruce Newton

Simona De Silvestro has emerged from her first practice session at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 determined to crunch the data and her Prodrive Racing Australia team-mates to extract more competitive pace from the Harvey Norman Ford.

The Swiss IndyCar star was slowest in the 45 minute session, setting a best time of 2min11.6488sec in the Falcon FG X she will share with Renee Gracie.

But she was unperturbed about being more than five seconds off the fastest time at this early stage.

"The first session is done so now I have a baseline and usually always get better after looking at data, so now I am sure I a going to be sitting in front of a computer for a while just seeing what my team-mates are doing," De Silvestro told v8supercars.com.au.

"I have really quick team-mates, so it is much easier when you can lean on them and see what they are doing and ask them questions."

Because the De Silvestro/Gracie wildcard is being run by Prodrive Racing Australia the data of championship leader Mark Winterbottom and opening session fastest driver Chaz Mostert will be available to them.

"The first few laps were pretty crazy It was really tight up there and it goes all over the place," De Silvestro said after stepping from the car.

"But it was nice to get in the car and I am really enjoying it. I had a lot of fun driving and that is the really important part.

"Everything feels really new for me with the V8s. I am really learning the car and how much you can go the limits and now I am happy to look at data and get better."

De Silvestro, who has never raced a closed car before this meeting, said adjusting to the reduced braking power of a V8 Supercar compared to an openwheeler was a challenge.

"I am used to a formula car in the braking zone and you can brake really and really late and that is something where I have just to find the confidence in the car and that's what's kinda missing right now.

"In an openweeler I know what to do, but here I am finding the confidence in the car and what it can all do."

De Silvestro said the speed and steepness of the track had got here attention.

"The downhill part is super steep and just learning how to cruise down there to be quick is important.

Gracie will take over the Falcon for the next practice session, which is exclusively for co-drivers.

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