De Silvestro: More work needed ahead of 2017
Simona de Silvestro has delivered a cautious assessment of her Supercars progress after finishing 14th alongside Renee Gracie in the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
The Harvey Norman Supergirls Nissan fell off the lead lap during the frenetic pace of the opening half of the race, which ran at record speed and without Safety Car intervention.
The duo then steered clear of late-race carnage to bring their Altima home 14th, two laps adrift of the remaining lead runners.
De Silvestro, who will drive full time in next year’s Supercars Championship for an as yet unnamed team, was reserved about her progress in general.
“I think that more hard work is going to be needed for the next few months and year because this championship is so competitive,” de Silvestro told Speedcafe.com.
“The level of driving is pretty amazing when you see that everybody’s so quick.
“I think it’s a big challenge but I really look forward to the challenge and I want to become a good Supercar driver.
“On Saturday in practice (Practice 6, Saturday) we were only a second off (Nissan Motorsport stablemate Michael) Caruso.
“I think that’s really good progress because we started the weekend almost two seconds off, so we gained a second.
“We all know in racing that the last second is always the toughest one to find so now I just really have to put my head into it and find that last second.
“That’s really going to be the main goal.”
The Swiss had set the car’s fastest lap during the second portion of her first-double stint, a 2:09.4611s on lap 66, while the pair generally lapped in the 2:10s to 2:11s bracket.
Nissan’s other four cars all set fastest laps in the 2:07.4s and 2:07.9s.
“The first stint was pretty good, I’m pretty happy with it because I think my lap times were reasonable,” added de Silvestro.
“We started to fight as well with some people out there so that was quite cool to be racing out there.
“The second stint wasn’t quite the same, for sure.
“It’s a little bit different when you’re already one or two laps down and you don’t really want to be in the way, but I think 14th is pretty acceptable.”
Although thought most likely to continue with Nissan, de Silvestro claimed that no decision has been made as to her destination for 2017.