Renee Gracie has put last year’s early Bathurst accident behind her, declaring that if she’s scared of crashing, she’s in the wrong sport.
The 21-year old racer started the Harvey Norman Supergirls entry in last year’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and on lap 15 of 161 slipped on oil, crashing at Forrest’s Elbow and effectively ending their chances of a good result.
The team repaired the car and sent it back out to give Simona De Silvestro plenty of laps and they ultimately finished 21st.
The pair has a clean slate this year, and Gracie will approach the race with a fresh perspective. Being able to finish the race helped ease the pain.
“Crashing is just a part of it – it could happen again this year for all we know,” Gracie told supercars.com.
“It’s something that just happens and I’m not the first person to slip on oil.
“I’ve been watching all the V8 classics on FOX TV and I’m not the first person to go in at Forrest’s Elbow, that’s for sure – plenty of people doing it before me!”
The young driver has put last year out of her mind.
“It’s one of those things. I don’t even think about it, to be honest.
“The fact that we got back out there probably helps get over it … the fact we actually finished the race probably doesn’t make it feel like it was a big deal.
“No one wants to crash but sometimes that just happens.
“It’s part of racing – if was scared of crashing I’d probably be in the wrong sport.”
The girls have switched race cars this year, with the Bathurst wild card run by Nissan Motorsport this time around. Gracie has been impressed with the team and has faith they are fully behind her and De Silvestro this weekend.
“From the mechanics up to the engineers, they’re a really good group of guys, I really feel like they believe in us and believe in the program.
“It’s really good to have a group of guys behind you knowing you want to take this seriously and you’re not just a joke, I guess.”
Gracie is proud to fly the flag for young women again and believes it’s important to single them out as they ‘Supergirls’ so the public are aware of their efforts. There are female mechanics and an engineer in the pit lane, so the barriers are slowly being broken.
“That’s something a lot of people don’t take note of, they just see what they see in the news or they read what they read and don’t see the bigger picture.
“I think it is important that we’re taken seriously – I think definitely now Simona and I are taken seriously – Simona more than me probably, because she’s getting a full-time drive next year.
“People can actually start watching and want to see us develop as a pair and personally in our futures. Hopefully those in the category want to see us develop.”