Supercars closing in on first full-time female driver
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Simona de Silvestro in line to take on Supercars Championship in 2017
Supercars could have its first full-time female driver as soon as next year with the sport attempting to pull off a glass ceiling-smashing coup by signing Swiss ace Simona de Silvestro.
In what would be a historic deal for the male dominated sport, Formula E driver de Silverstro is in line to become the first female championship driver in Supercars history with several teams interested in offering her a landmark deal.
The Sunday Telegraph can reveal the international motor-racing star known as the Iron Maiden spent last week in Sydney discussing a potential deal for 2016 that would see her take on the likes of Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes.
Supercars CEO James Warburton declared he was attempting to make history by signing the former IndyCar racer to a deal that will see her become the first full-time driver of the modern era after she teamed up with Renee Gracie last year to take on Bathurst in Mount Panorama's first ever all girl team.
"First and foremost Simona is an incredible driver," Warburton said.
"The sport is talking about her as the 'real deal' having seen what she achieved at Bathurst last year given it was the first time she had ever driven a Supercar. The fact that she is the fastest female on four wheels will inspire a new generation of fans and showcase the potential and possibilities for women in the top tier of motorsport, which is an important ambition and we believe an obligation we have for our series.
"Simona's achievements of having been a Formula 1 Test Driver, been one of only three females to stand on an Indy Car Podium and her achievements in Karting and European Championships absolutely makes her a target for Supercars, quite a remarkable career to consider when she is still only 27.
"Globally Simona has a number of options and people chasing her, all we can do is try and get to the front of the queue and believe me we are pushing."
Photo / Matthew Hansen
De Silvestro discussed the possibility of a full-time drive while in Sydney last week to announce she would be teaming up with reserve grade series driver Graice for another crack at the Bathurst 1000.
"I think for me I've had a tough year in Formula E right now and I'm definitely looking at all the options that there is out there," De Silvestro said.
"I really enjoyed Bathurst last year, it's definitely something to look at, the support of Harvey Norman also and the female action is quite important. Right now there's no decisions made, the racing is a lot of fun here and as a race car driver that's what you look for, and going full tilt all the time, so who knows"
The last female driver to compete in a touring car championship season was Christine Gibson in 1975.