De Silvestro coming to grips with DJR Ford

28 Sep
'It's been four years since I drove a Supercar… the first few laps, I had to get used to sitting on the 'wrong' side'
  • De Silvestro finally tests DJR Gen3 wildcard Ford

  • Allen previously tested car before Sandown

  • De Silvestro's arrival to Australia delayed by appendix surgery

Simona De Silvestro has spent her first day with Kai Allen and the Shell V-Power Racing Team "getting into the groove" in a Supercar, four years after her last start.

De Silvestro and Allen tested the #98 Shell V-Power Ford for the first time together at Queensland Raceway on Thursday, a week out from next week’s Repco Bathurst 1000.

Crucial DJR wildcard testing underway for De Silvestro, Allen

The #98 is one of three Dick Johnson Racing Fords for this year’s Great Race, alongside the #11 of Anton De Pasquale/Tony D’Alberto and #17 of Will Davison/Alex Davison.

Super2 title contender Allen recently tested the car, and is currently racing a Gen2-spec Eggleston Commodore in the Dunlop Series, having raced a Project Blueprint-spec car last year.

De Silvestro, meanwhile, hasn’t driven a Supercar since November 2019, with her travels to Australia delayed by emergency appendix surgery.

The Swiss star has driven a number of different cars since, and had to shake out some habits to come to grips with the Gen3 Mustang.

"It's good to actually drive it, because I’ve heard so many stories about this car,” she told Supercars.com.

de silvestro test 3

"You just get into it and learn what the car needs. For sure, it’s different to what I’m used to. But to be honest, it’s been four years since I drove a Supercar.

"The first few laps, I had to get used to sitting on the ‘wrong’ side. Coming out of corners, I was using a little bit too much road. Things like that, just getting into the groove of it. 

"But at the end of the day, it has a few pedals, a steering wheel and four wheels. You just try to go as quick as you can with it."

The De Silvestro/Allen pairing is one of the most intriguing on this year’s grid, with Allen one of four Great Race debutants. De Silvestro lines up for start No.6, with her first two starts coming in wildcards.

Allen, however, has more than acquainted himself with the Mountain, dominating last year’s Super3 round.

For De Silvestro, the goal is to get Allen Great Race ready, from the minutiae of where to find the best coffee in Bathurst, to absorbing the allure of the event itself.

de silvestro test 2

One thing is certain, though, for De Silvestro — Allen is fast.

"Kai is amazing, we get along quite well," De Silvestro said.

"I’m definitely a bit more picky than he is in the car. One of the team members came in and said it’s pretty good to show you can be a little bit picky.

"We just need to be comfortable. It’s going to be his first long race, right now we need as comfortable as we can.

"The advice is he has to really enjoy himself. When I did my first Indy 500, I went in like a normal race, but as the years went on, I realised how cool it is to be part of it.

"Knowing my way around, getting to the right coffee places will make everything pretty chill. He’s a quick driver, so from that point of view, he’ll be good."

DJR will complete a second test day for De Silvestro and Allen at Queensland Raceway on Friday.

Related News