Simona's Bathurst surprise

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 10/10/2016
  • By Kassie Gadeke

Simona de Silvestro was happy with her performance at her second Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and last event before becoming a full-time driver in the category. 

Racing with Renee Gracie as one half of the Harvey Norman Supergirls, de Silvestro helped steer the Nissan to 14th, a big improvement on the pair's first result of 21st in their first year, after an early accident when Gracie slipped on oil into the wall. 

She and Gracie had to adapt to the Nissan after steering a Prodrive Falcon last year and faced a big challenge after her cool suit failed during the race. 

“I got in the car, no cool suit, no air, it was really hot in there. It was tough, but it was good preparation for whatever is coming so now I know what to work on in my training,” she told supercars.com.

 “It was good finishing 14th, we didn’t think we would finish 14th but we stayed out of trouble out there and that was the most important thing to do. The race came a little bit towards us, so that is great.”

I was pretty happy with my first stint, my second stint I wasn’t that happy so it just shows the level of drivers in the series.

“It’s a really tough series and I think next year is going to be very interesting and definitely a lot of work in my hands but you know I am really looking forward to it.”

De Silvestro – who is one of only three women to stand on an IndyCar podium – enjoyed working with the Nissan team and in the lead up to the event received plenty of help from team owner and Bathurst winner Todd Kelly.

“It was good, the team did an awesome job. They brought us in, you know even if we were a fifth car, we were really at home with everybody. We were really involved in all the engineering meetings so that was really good; all the boys have been working so hard to make the car go faster and anything that was needed they’ve always given to us.

“So it’s really nice to be in a team like this. The car I think felt pretty comfortable out there, defiantly need to adapt a little more my driving style and all that. I think we can be pretty happy with 14th.”

De Silvestro is yet to commit to a team for next year – she would like to finalise a seat soon, but is still considering her options. 

“There is no decision made. I want to have it sorted sooner than later – you want to start working with the team and you know I am moving from Switzerland to Australia, so there is a lot to co-ordinate and a lot to understand also when the testing goes.

“There is so much going to be going on in the next few months so it will be quite a little bit chaotic.”

She is looking to move from Switzerland early next year before contesting the season opening Clipsal 500 next year in March.

 “I will go back home now and I think I will be back in Australia around Feb,” she said.

“During the winter now in Switzerland some good training at home and get ready for the new season.” 

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