Gracie hoping for de Silvestro enduro lifeline

Renee Gracie wants to be back on the Bathurst grid next year, pinning her hopes on an enduro deal alongside Simona de Silvestro.

Gracie hoping for de Silvestro enduro lifeline
Simona de Silvestro and Renee Gracie, Harvey Norman Supergirls Nissan
Simona de Silvestro and Renee Gracie, Harvey Norman Supergirls Nissan
Simona de Silvestro and Renee Gracie, Harvey Norman Supergirls Nissan
Renee Gracie, Harvey Norman Supergirls Nissan
Simona de Silvestro and Renee Gracie, Harvey Norman Supergirls Nissan
Simona de Silvestro, Renee Gracie, Nissan Motorsports
Simona de Silvestro and Renee Gracie, Harvey Norman Supergirls Nissan
Simona de Silvestro and Renee Gracie, Harvey Norman Supergirls Nissan

Gracie and her manager Chris Jewell were instrumental in bringing de Silvestro to Supercars, engineering the Harvey Norman Supergirls deal that saw Dunlop Series regular Gracie and the Swiss star team up for two tilts at the Great Race.

But there are no guarantees that Gracie will be back on the Bathurst grid next year. The initial Supergirls deal has now run its two-year course, while the nature of de Silvestro’s involvement in the series will change when she goes full-time for the 2017 season.

That could, however, open the door for Gracie to complete a full enduro deal alongside de Silvestro at whichever team she ultimately lands.

“It makes it tough because she doesn’t know what team she’ll be with at the moment, but yeah I’d like to think that I helped bring her over here for two years, maybe she can help me out,” Gracie told Motorsport.com.

“But seriously, I’m not really thinking about next year just yet. I don’t know what the future holds at the moment. It is the end of a two-year deal, but with our great result this year and all the attention we’ve been getting fingers crossed we can sort something out [for next year].”

Strong finish a second-tier boost

Gracie and de Silvestro finished a credible 14th at Bathurst this year, following a rollercoaster debut a year earlier when Gracie slipped up on some oil and hit the wall early in the race.

Going the distance in 2016, despite having to deal with a broken coolsuit for most of the race, is something Gracie says will help her back in the second-tier Dunlop Series.

“There is so much I can take back,” she said. “Just the amount of laps we did is like nothing else. I definitely found out that I’m fit enough to do it, so that’s one thing! Every other race should seem easy from there.

“I think there is a lot of things to learn from, like the tyres going off, the track gripping up, all those changing factors. And being under the pump for driver changes, and not having a coolsuit after it failed a couple of laps in. Having everything thrown at you, having everything go wrong. We had clean driver changes even though we were hot and bothered.

“All of that is what you take away. I can only imagine how far I’m going to have come next time I’m in the Dunlop Series car.”

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