Simona De Silvestro has admitted she may have "wanted it too much" after she ended qualifying at Mount Panorama in the sand trap at The Chase.
The Swiss racer said she was just pushing too hard before sliding off the fastest part of the circuit in pursuit of a strong lap time ahead of Sunday’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
One half of the Harvey Norman Supergirls, De Silvestro is still adjusting to the Nissan Altima she steers with Renee Gracie this year, after running a Prodrive Falcon last year and spending most of her career in open wheelers.
She speared off the track on her first flying lap, triggering the red flag, cementing her start on the second last row alongside.
De Silvestro was not the first to run off at The Chase, with Shae Davies doing the same earlier and locking in last position on the grid.
“The day overall was good … maybe I wanted it a little bit too much,” De Silvestro said.
“I was up on my lap time and I was getting more confident in the car, and I think it’s the only mistake I have made this weekend, so it happens.
“It just shows that we are pushing, and we’re trying to be as fast as we can out there … I guess the good thing is that you always learn from your mistakes.”
De Silvestro’s lap times have improved as the event has gone on, starting with a 2min09.6733 in the first practice session, 3.7233sec off Jamie Whincup; and ending today’s practice with a 2min08.7057, which was 3.5563sec from Whincup, who topped both sessions and earned provisional pole.
Finding the sand on her first flying lap left her with a 2min09.6682sec time in the official results, though De Silvestro believes she was on-track for another improved time.
“I think it would have been to be in the sevens,” she said.
“It is what it is, but the race is really long on Sunday, it’s what we have to focus on, and it’s what we have our minds on.”
Co-driver Gracie was more comfortable today, running another hour-long session in the Nissan.
“The car felt really good compared to yesterday,” said Gracie.
“Yesterday was a bit awkward, but we didn’t have a car that we were both comfortable in, it was tough.
“This morning was the complete opposite, I went out there and straight away on the first lap I felt confident in the car, and I knew I had so much left in me.
“Now that I have that confidence, it’s more about teaching myself to drive fast again.”
Gracie didn’t get another hit out on green tyres given De Silvestro was preparing for qualifying.
“I think my confidence would spike again if I had a couple runs on a set of green tyres,” she said.
“Today on old tyres I managed to do low (two minute) nines, which is what I qualified on last year.
“I’m definitely happy with the car, and feeling much more confident.”