After expressing interest on her own behalf and after the Virgin Australian Supercars Championship expressed interest in her, Simona de Silvestro will now be in the Australian series full-time starting next year.
The three-year deal was announced on Monday by series chief James Warburton. De Silvestro, who just turned 28 on Sept. 1, will make her comeback starting with the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 in October before a full-time bow from 2017. She’ll again run alongside Australian driver Renee Gracie as part of the “Harvey Norman Supergirls” for Nissan Motorsport.
“I had my first taste of driving these cars last year at the Bathurst 1000. It was such an incredible experience and I knew this could be a goal for the future,” she said.
“That this goal became reality so quickly is fantastic and I have to thank James Warburton for believing in me and wanting me in Supercars. This is going to be my first full-time year with a closed top car and there a lot of new things for me to learn and adapt to.”
It’s a big career shift for de Silvestro, and her third international bow in as many years after a chaotic few years.
Her run as a Sauber Formula One test driver ended without her ever having more than a few test days. She then joined up with Andretti Autosport in a partial IndyCar season in 2015, while also competing full-time with the Andretti Formula E team last season. But she struggled in the electric open-wheel championship this season.
Alas, de Silvestro’s four full-time years in IndyCar proved she has talent. But whether the likable Swiss driver will be able to advance up the grid in a tough championship in a discipline relatively unknown to her remains to be seen.