Simona de Silvestro’s Nissan Altima will sport a new look ahead of the Swiss driver’s season season of full-time racing in the Supercars Championship.
De Silvestro’s car sports a bold new black, red and white colour scheme in deference to her continued backing from retail giant Harvey Norman, while LG and Lenovo also remain on board as sponsors of her #78 car.
“You always want to have a good looking car and the team have done a great job,” she said ahead of Friday’s pre-season test at Sydney Motorsport Park.
“I can’t wait to see what it looks like on track. I spent the off-season training back in Europe, but I was constantly talking to the team and keeping updated on everything.”
The 29-year-old had a tough baptism of fire in her rookie season last year, finishing 24th overall in the Drivers’ Championship standings and achieving a pair of 13th-placed finishes at Phillip Island as her best results.
She did show flashes of speed, however, running inside the top-ten at the Bathurst 1000 and both Newcastle 500 races, which she believes will serve as a platform to unlock better results in 2018 now that she knows the circuits.
“I can’t wait to get to Adelaide,” she added, looking ahead to the season-opening round which takes place on March 2-4.
“This year is a big change, as I’ll be familiar with most of the tracks. It means we won’t be dedicating valuable track time to learning which way the circuit goes or where braking markers are.
“We started to really put all the pieces of the puzzle together in the second half of last year. Newcastle and Bathurst were a lot of fun, and it was exciting to be racing inside the Top 10.
“I have high expectations on myself to improve and be racing up the front on a consistent basis.”
While de Silvestro’s race pace was often as quick as the frontrunners, she struggled to unlock a lap time in qualifying.
With additional support from team co-owner Todd Kelly following his retirement from full-time racing, the team has hired Chris Stuckey as her new race engineer, formerly from Preston Hire Racing. Also on board is the team’s new technical director, Nick Ollila, who hails from the NASCAR scene and is highly acclaimed.
“I’m really looking forward to working with Chris this year,” de Silvestro continued.
“The team were very keen to get him on-board and that obviously means he knows what he’s doing.
“The test day will help us understand each other and by Adelaide we’ll be speaking the same language. I just want the season to start now.”
Images via Nissan Motorsport
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