Simona De Silvestro and Renee Gracie ahead of last year's Bathurst 1000.
Simona De Silvestro and Renee Gracie ahead of last year's Bathurst 1000. Mark Horsburgh

Girls wild about second chance

THE only all-female line-up in this weekend's Bathurst 1000, Australia's Renee Gracie and Swiss star Simona De Silvestro are hoping for better fortune in their second shot at the Great Race.

The pair teams up for the second year straight as a wild card entry, having scrambled into 21st position last year after a crash on lap 15 of 161 when Gracie slipped on oil.

Although the crew managed to repair the car and get De Silvestro back on the track, Gracie was visibly upset in an interview a short time later when she admitted she had seen the oil.

The 21-year-old is well and truly over it now, her confidence bolstered by her and De Silvestro's clean slate this year and their two days of testing last week at Winton in their new Nissan.

"It's one of those things. I don't even think about it, to be honest ... I'm not the first person to slip on oil,” Gracie said of last year's crash at Bathurst in an interview with supercars.com.

"The fact that we got back out there probably helps get over it ... the fact we actually finished the race probably doesn't make it feel like it was a big deal.

"No one wants to crash, but sometimes that just happens. It's part of racing - if was scared of crashing I'd probably be in the wrong sport.”

Time spent with the Nissan Motorsport team is another factor fuelling Gracie's confidence.

"From the mechanics up to the engineers, they're a really good group of guys,” she said. "I really feel like they believe in us and believe in the program.

"It's really good to have a group of guys behind you knowing you want to take this seriously and you're not just a joke, I guess.”


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