Simona De Silvestro felt reasonably pleased with progress in her first race as a regular in the Supercars Championship on Adelaide’s street circuit. The ex-IndyCar and Formula E racer finished 20th in the 250km opening race of the Clipsal 500 Adelaide weekend in her factory-supported Nissan Altima, the last car on the lead lap.
“I think the pace can be a little bit better but the car was really good,” De Silvestro told the Supercars website. “I think for a first one we’ll take it. We finished and learned a lot during the race. I made a few mistakes in the pits but we’ll be better tomorrow.”
The Swiss driver admitted to some relief after having been warned to expect no quarter from veterans of the Australia-based series.
“Everybody freaked me out so much about it… but it’s actually OK once you’re out there and in your rhythm,” said De Silvestro, who had been warned by a fellow “international” driver about the rough-and-tumble nature of Supercars racing, compared to the open-wheel competition she is used to.
“Bumping someone and letting them back through had never occurred to me because you can’t do that in an IndyCar,” she said. “But that’s the rules.”
“(Alex) Premat warned me that my first year is going to be a bit tough. I’m sure they’re not going to make it easy for me.”
Reigning Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen took a dominant victory in the opening race in Adelaide in his Red Bull Holden Commodore (highlights below).