Dane explains De Silvestro, Triple Eight near miss

Jess Dane says crack Supercars squad Triple Eight fell just two days short of putting together a deal to sign Simona de Silvestro.

Dane explains De Silvestro, Triple Eight near miss

T8 was known to be courting de Silvestro during the 2018 Supercars season as part of a plan to turn its third entry in to a female-led programme.

Had the plan come to fruition, de Silvestro would have replaced the retiring Craig Lowndes in the third T8 car and it is expected Dane would have been team manager, leading a mostly-female crew.

However the deal ultimately fell through, T8 scaling back to two cars for 2019 while de Silvestro continued with Kelly Racing for another season before returning to Europe for 2020.

Speaking on the latest episode of the V8 Sleuth podcast, Dane – now a 30 per cent owner of the T8 team – explained that a sudden budget shortage two days out of the deadline was what killed the deal.

“Two days close, literally," she said when asked how close it was to happening.

“We had a funding deadline and we had everything, we had what we needed.

“And then two days before the deadline a third of the budget fell over, and you can’t find that amount of money in two days.

“That was really gutting that that fell through.”

Despite being gutted at the time, Dane has a more philosophical take on it now, given how things have played out for the pair.

De Silvestro is now a factory-backed Porsche GT driver, while Dane has an increased ownership in the team, has recently studied law and has also been working on a number of broadcasting projects.

“I hate this saying, but things do happen for a reason,” said Dane.

“I remember talking to Simona probably a year afterwards, and she said, ‘look if it had gone ahead, then I wouldn’t be at Porsche and I wouldn’t be moving back. I wanted to move back to Europe and this is my ticket back, and it’s with an awesome manufacturer in a good category.’

“And then if that had gone ahead, then I wouldn’t have done a law degree – who knows where we would’ve ended up.

“But I think if [the De Silvestro deal] had come to fruition, that would have been a really incredible thing to show up to girls as something to aspire to.”

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