The Bathurst 1000, the jewel in the crown of the Supercars Championship season, will get underway next week when the sleepy NSW town comes to life with the roar of V8 engines and fans cover the mountain in flags, eskies and tents to watch some of Australia’s most talented drivers manoeuvre their way around the mountain 161 times.
While every running of the Bathurst 1000 is special, this year’s race marks a very important milestone of sorts, as it has been ten years since the tragic death of V8 legend, Peter Brock.
Joining in this special running will be the Harvey Norman Supergirls, Simona De Silvestro and Renee Gracie, who have just revealed their striking new livery for this year’s event featuring Nikon KeyMission 360 as their main sponsor for a second year running. As part of their special livery design the girls will be sporting the number 360 on the sides of their Nissan, the same number that James Moffat and Taz Douglas sported when they stood on the podium in 2014’s Great Race.
For De Silvestro, next weekend’s race is just the start of her new Supercar career after being confirmed to race for the series for the next three seasons.
"It's great to be back in Australia,” she said. “This time around everything feels a bit more normal knowing the tracks we are going to, and even though I am with a new team in Nissan, I'm really looking forward to getting to work with them.”
“My expectations are always high every time I get into a race car, and I know that Bathurst is a very challenging circuit and event. It's also one full year since I have driven a Supercar, but I'm sure it will come back to me quite quickly.”
“I think our biggest goal is to improve on last year's result, and if we have a clean race then I'm sure we can have a good result at the end, finishing top 15 would be a great achievement.”
Renee Gracie is currently the leading female driver in the Supercars Dunlop Series and her aim is to do a better job than last year, where they finished in 21st place….
“The first thing is to get comfortable in the car and focus on the end game,” she said. “If we can stay on the lead lap then the ultimate result will take care of itself. I am not underestimating it one bit but having survived last year's event in mixed conditions and still being classified as a finisher will surely be of some benefit to us during the course of Sunday.”
"The team is very supportive and it feels like they're really into the whole concept of what we are doing, which is great. They've put together a very experienced group of guys and I felt really good being there… we were cracking jokes and having plenty of laughs but things will get much more serious once the engine barks into life.”
The girls will take to the Winton track this week for a two day test in preparation for the Bathurst 1000.