One of the worst-kept secrets in the Supercars paddock has finally been confirmed this morning with an announcement that Simona De Silvestro will return to compete at this year’s Bathurst 1000.
De Silvestro will race in the wildcard Dick Johnson Racing Shell V-Power #98 Mustang with Eggleston Motorsport Dunlop Series driver Kai Allen.
“I am thrilled to race back at the iconic track in Bathurst and want to thank DJR and Shell V-Power for this amazing opportunity,” said De Silvestro. “Four years has been too long, but who would have thought in 2019 that I would not be able to travel to Australia for such a long time.
“I am looking forward to teaming up with young talent Kai, and I am sure we will make a great team. Of course, I also want to thank Harvey Norman and Katie Page, who have been supporting me all my career in Australia. I can’t wait to be back in Australia in September to start testing the new Gen3 car.”
The return to Supercars will be De Silvestro’s first time behind the wheel in a Supercars race since the end of the 2019 season at Newcastle, which concluded a three-year full-time role in the sport. Her best result in that time came at Pukekohe that same year, where she finished seventh in Race 2. Her best Bathurst 1000 result came around the same time when she finished 13th in 2019 with Alex Rullo.
She also boasts a record of four seasons in IndyCar and featured on the podium in the 2013 Grand Prix of Houston, in addition to a sole Formula E campaign.
For Allen, it’s a completely different story, with the teenager set to make his Supercars debut at Bathurst, having finished runner-up in the Super3 Championship last year. He currently sits second in Super2 this year, behind only Zak Best.
“I’m so proud and excited to be joining DJR as part of their first Bathurst wildcard, representing the Shell V-Power brand,” said Allen. I’m really looking forward to working with such a knowledgeable and well-respected team, who have seen so much success over the years.
“Co-driving with Simona will no doubt be a highlight of the year, and I can’t wait to learn from her, as she is such an experienced driver.”
The 2023 Bathurst 1000 takes place over the weekend of October 5-8.