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Friday, Nov 8 10:11am
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Simona De Silvestro confirms Supercars departure

Simona De Silvestro has announced she will not return to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship in 2020. 

 

Now 31 years old, the ‘Swiss Miss’ will work with Porsche as a development driver in their new Formula E program.

 

“I have a great opportunity with Porsche and I’m going to have some racing plans announced in December, but I can’t say what it is yet,” De Silvestro told Supercars.com.

 

“So for me it is just a really big opportunity and as a driver it’s always something you kind of work towards, to have a team and a brand hire you, so it’s pretty exciting times for me.”

 

Speculation that De Silvestro would leave the Supercars fold came soon after Kelly Racing confirmed they would downscale from four cars to just two. Next year the team will move from the Nissan Altima to the Ford Mustang.


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De Silvestro made her Supercars debut in 2015 as a wild card for Prodrive Racing (now Tickford Racing) alongside Renee Gracie in the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. She returned a year later for another one-off appearance with Kelly Racing before joining the team full-time in 2017. 

 

In joining the series, she became the first full-time female driver in the Supercars Championship.

 

During her three years of full-time competition, De Silvestro showed glimpses that she could be a front-runner. However, in those three seasons, she only cracked the top 10 on three occasions. 

 

Her story to date could have been a lot different if a deal to join Triple Eight Race Engineering had come together for this season. 


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“I’m not disappointed, definitely I feel the three years have been great,” she said of her time in the championship.

 

“It has been really an awesome experience for me to race here and even though I feel like some boxes haven’t been ticked, that’s sometimes how racing is. You need to be in the right place and the right position, which I felt was maybe not so much the case this year especially.

 

“It’s a bit frustrating, but at the end of the day, everything happens for a reason and now I have this great opportunity with Porsche that has come around. For me, it’s something that I need to take because that’s a really big chance for me and my career.

 

“Two events left here; I’m pretty pumped about those, especially Newcastle. It’s a place that I do really well at so hopefully we can really finish the year on a high and get some good results in the last two rounds.”

 

De Silvestro paid tribute to her supporters, including Katie Page of Harvey Norman who has backed her since beginning in the series. 

 

This weekend De Silvestro will be joined by Alex Rullo in the penultimate round of the championship the Penrite Oil Sandown 500. Her final race will be at the Coates Hire Newcastle 500 over 22-24 November. 

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