Why DJR wildcard 'made sense' for De Silvestro

17 Sep
'Bathurst has been on my mind since I left. I wanted to come back'
  • De Silvestro trackside with DJR at Sandown 500

  • Swiss driver to race DJR wildcard with Kai Allen in Bathurst

  • De Silvestro last raced a Supercar in 2019

Simona De Silvestro says making her Supercars comeback in a Dick Johnson Racing Bathurst wildcard “made a lot of sense” amid her return to Australia.

De Silvestro will share a Shell V-Power Racing Team Mustang with rising star Kai Allen at next month’s Repco Bathurst 1000.

The Swiss driver touched down in Australia on Saturday, and is trackside with DJR in Melbourne at the Penrite Oil Sandown 500.

De Silvestro has ambition to race at Bathurst every year, having held a factory Porsche role and returned to the Indianapolis 500 in the years since her Supercars exit.

Speaking to Supercars.com, De Silvestro said the DJR drive is the “perfect story” for a comeback, having raced full-time in Supercars between 2017 and 2019.

78-De-Silvestro-EV-12-19-MH1 2031-scaled

“It’s definitely the best team you can be associated with, and with Kai, he’s a young gun and so fast,” she said.

“The opportunity made a lot of sense, and Bathurst has been on my mind since I left. I wanted to come back, then COVID hit and made everything more complex.

“If I get to do Bathurst every year, it would be awesome, it’s one of the best races. And if you get a good result, it’s very good on the resume.

“When I raced here, DJR were the team to beat. It’s an amazing opportunity, and it’s amazing that the team called me. It’s a perfect story for a comeback."

De Silvestro debuted in a Prodrive Racing Australia Falcon in the 2015 Great Race, and returned in a Kelly-run Nissan Altima in 2016.


The Gen2 Altima may a far cry to a DJR Gen3 Mustang, with De Silvestro last driving a Supercar in 2019. However, she is confident of securing a strong result at Mount Panorama despite a short lead-in.

simona de silvestro shane van gisbergen sandown 2023

“I know the old cars, and I’ve been watching all the races this year, as well as being in Darwin,” she said.

“I want to see it for myself how it is. The cars look cool, and challenging to drive. That’s a good thing for a wildcard, coming in and focussing on that one race and getting the most out of what you have.

“We need to stay out of trouble in the race, and if we go down that path, we can get a result.

“We need to tick our boxes and improve every session, and look after the things we can control. If we do that, we can fight in the top 10. That’s definitely achievable.”

De Silvestro was set to come to Australia sooner, only to be delayed by emergency appendix surgery. The surgery forced DJR to alter its enduro test plans, which will be revealed in due course.

“It was painful,” she said of her surgery.

“You’re kind of fine, then a few hours later, you’re on the operating table. Often you have time to prepare.

“It was close to bursting, in that sense I was lucky — if it burst, I would’ve been more of a mess. I had great doctors.

“At the time, you’re not sure how bad it is. but once they said the surgery went well, I know that I’m the sort of person that can get back on the horse quickly.

“The team was super cool to move test dates to accomodate me, they were on top of things and made it happen."

Related News