Tricky weekend for DE Silvestro in Ipswich
Simona De Silvestro completed the Ipswich round of the Supercars championship with a P18 and a P19, as she struggled to find pace in her Nissan Altima.
The experienced Swiss driver struggled to find pace on her Nissan Altima all weekend long and the two races of the Supercars Championship in Ipswich were unfortunately no exception.
The Kelly Racing crew of the #78 Team Harvey Norman car tried different options since Saturday but Simona could ultimately not find a car balance to her liking.
“We had an ok start to today’s race but then at the last corner of the first lap we kind of got stuck in a bit of traffic and lost a few spots there." - said De Silvestro after the first race. "Then we just struggled with understeer in the car and even playing with the rollbar settings I couldn’t get it to where I wanted.”
Even on race pace, De Silvestro's usual strong point on race weekends, the 31-year old could not gain places and finished the first round of the weekend in 18th position after starting 17th on the grid.
Jamie Whincup went on to end his almost one year win-less streak, showing commanding pace. Will Davison and Chaz Mostert completed the podium of an action-packed race.
The Swiss lady had another bumpy start to Sunday, as she was relegated to 19th on the second race grid after technical troubles had hit her #78 Altima.
It was then a long and battling race for De Silvestro, as she hanged on to that position for the 65 laps of the 20th round of the championship.
“It wasn’t the most fun race unfortunately, we just struggled for pace all day." - she commented. Her Kelly Racing teammates André Heimgartner and Rick Kelly finished within the top ten after a solid race for the Nissan squad, which will be helpful data for De Silvestro looking forward to the next round.
"I guess we can take some positives from that and look at what they’re doing that we are not so we can improve for the next race at The Bend.”
“We just didn’t have a very good qualifying and that put us on the back foot for the race starting way back on the grid. The car just hasn’t been good to drive all weekend, normally we at least have pretty good race pace.”
By leading all 65 laps, Scott McLaughlin kept getting closer and closer to his second title in a row. Despite the late battle with Van Gisbergen, McLaughlin took his 14th win of the season by a 0.7 seconds margin under the chaquered flag.
Teammate and closest title rival Fabian Coulthard could only finish 18th, after a contact with Anton De Pasquale sent him off the track at turn 4.
In Simona's words:
"We improved the car I think in qualifying. But with park fermé our race car wasn’t the best out there. Struggling for tyre life and so on. Now we have a bit of time off to have a good look at everything."
Ph credits: Kelly Racing / Andy Pearson