Bathurst 1000: Australia’s most famous Motorsport Race
And, for the first time in nearly 20 years, this prestigious race will have an all-female driving team comprised of Australian Renee Gracie and Swiss-born Simona De Silvestro.
As the only all-female team in the 2015 Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama in central-west New South Wales, they are facing both sceptics and supporters, buy they are taking on the challenge with gusto and say they do not mind the attention.
De Silvestro told ABC Grandstand during the week, “Being a female team here … I think if we can show that we can get the job done it’s going to be really good and that’s what we’re here for.”
Promoters have dubbed the women the ‘supergirls’ but others have been less than complimentary. Three-times Bathurst winner, Dick Johnson, told the Daily Telegraph newspaper said he did not think the pair would even go close to finishing.
Four-times Bathurst 1000 competitor from the 1980s and now a local motorsport commentator, Brian Nightingale, commends women drivers. “The girls themselves are all very talented. They’ve got to do the same licensing procedure as the men, and they wouldn’t get their licence to race at Bathurst if they were not up to standard.”
While they have come to motorsport from different paths, the pair says they were both children who enjoyed the outdoors and played a variety of sports growing up.
De Silvestro and Gracie agree their race is about chasing down a dream and they’d like to impart that advice to other girls. “If you have a dream and you’re passionate about something go and do it and don’t be scared,” De Silvestro said.
“Racing may not be the first sport a girl thinks about but you know, if she loves it just go for it.”
Sport Has No Gender wishes the girls the best of luck this weekend as they take on the mountain, and we’re sure they can give plenty of the boys a run for their money!