Simona De Silvestro cannot believe that she finished 10th in Supercars Championship Race 18 in Townsville after being turned around and copping ‘a bit wrong’ pit calls ‘every’ time.
The Kelly Racing driver’s result in Sunday’s manic conclusion to the the Watpac Townsville 400 equals her previous best finish in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, in Newcastle last year, amid rain, a pit call gaffe, and a brief period of facing the wrong way.
De Silvestro was running eighth when she was turned around by Tim Slade at Turn 13 on Lap 54, although he did slow in an attempt to redress the incident.
Two laps later, she ceded the spot to the Brad Jones Racing driver anyway when confusion over a pit call saw her twice cross the pit entry chevron, although there was no subsequent word from race control on that manoeuvre.
De Silvestro took the chequered flag in 11th position, but gained a spot due to a time penalty hanging over the head of Slade for the very incident between Cars #14 and #78.
“Yeah, it was interesting,” said the Swiss driver of the wild conditions, on Fox Sports’ Supercars Trackside.
“I didn’t mind it because it kind of puts everyone on a level playing field so for me I was kind of happy about it.
“I can’t believe we finished 10th, I think every call was a bit wrong.
“We had to double stack and then we were again going to double stack and I kind of it ignored it.
“The third time, he called me so late that I missed the chevron, I had to do another lap, so I can’t believe we finished 10th. It was good, you know.”
Townsville saw Blake Smith filling the role of De Silvestro’s engineer for the first time with her now regular engineer, Giovanni Colombo, away for personal reasons.
Although there were some choice words over the radio at the time, the 30-year-old said she was forgiving of the confusion considering it was their first time working together.
“There was a few bad words in it (over the radio) because I was like ‘I can’t believe it’; it’s kind of our shot here to have a really good result and I think we made it a little more difficult than we had to,” she said.
“I think we’ll do 10th; having Blake just as a one-off here, I’ll give him the credit as a part-timer on that.
“It was good, it was fun to drive in the wet for sure.”
De Silvestro remains 20th in the championship.