Iron maiden could become a full-time driver in Supercars.
Simona De Silvestro – currently racing in Formula E for Amlin Andretti and set to compete in her second Bathurst 1000 this October – hasn’t ruled out a full-time drive in the Supercars Championship next year.
Before we go any further, let’s get one thing straight. Swiss-born de Silvestro is a serious, competitive racer. Forget the gender. She’s no gimmick.
She raced in the 2010 Indianapolis 500, and finished 14th, earning the Rookie of the Year award.
De Silvestro also drove full-time in IndyCars for several seasons, for a best finish of second with KV Racing Technology at the Grand Prix of Houston, joining Danica Patrick and Sarah Fisher as the only women to record a podium finish in that category.
The 27-year-old impressed in her first and thus far only V8 Supercars drive in the Bathurst 1000 last year.
She is back again in October with Renee Gracie, but anticipates a discussion or two with the right people about a full-time season in the Australian Championship.
“I think, for me, I’ve had a tough year in Formula E right now and I’m definitely looking at all the options out there,” de Silvestro told the Supercars website.
“Right now there’s no decisions made, the racing is a lot of fun here and as a race car driver that’s what you look for, and going full tilt all the time.
“So who knows. Maybe. I don’t know yet.”
In an interview with Wheels early this year, Supercars CEO James Warburton prioritised full-time female participation in the series “hopefully by 2017”.
“We want a female driver on the grid on merit,” he stressed.
Warburton was very taken with de Silvestro’s professionalism and the way she adjusted to Supercars after minimal testing.
Supercars is also prepared to fund an entry for the right quality competitor, rumoured to be bankrolled by Harvey Norman – who sponsor the Swiss racer’s Bathurst Wild Card entry.
Wheels understands that money has been earmarked for di Silvestro and the category is working towards securing her a seat.
“Globally, Simona has a number of options and people chasing her,” Warburton told the Supercars website. “All we can do is try and get to the front of the queue and believe me we are pushing.”
It is believed Warburton is insisting on any potential full-time drive being with a top-level team, which would give the ‘Iron maiden’ a serious chance at race wins and potentially a championship.