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Women silence Bathurst knockers

Former IndyCar driver Simona De Silvestro has signed a three-year Supercars deal.
Women silence Bathurst knockers
Photo Source: AAP

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After just her second Bathurst 1000, Simona de Silvestro can already lay claim to beating six-time champion Craig Lowndes.

No wonder the ex-Formula One test driver is confident she has finally silenced the knockers.

De Silvestro is confident she can mix it with the best when she finally becomes a full-time Supercars driver next season after falling short of a top finish at Sunday's Great Race.

She and co-driver Renee Gracie stayed out of trouble at an incident packed Bathurst 1000 that included six safety cars as eight teams failed to even finish.

When the dust settled, the all-female team placed 14th - two places higher than Lowndes, albeit after he suffered gear dramas early.

Still, former IndyCar driver de Silvestro was taking all the positives she could before her much anticipated full-time debut in 2017.

"I think finishing 14th is quite amazing," she said.

"In these sorts of races when you stay out of trouble, the race comes to you a little bit.

"I was pretty happy with my first stint in the car because at the end of it we were starting to fight with the other guys out there."

De Silvestro had hoped to prove the doubters wrong after she speared off the track at qualifying on Friday, relegating them to the back of the grid for the 161-lap endurance classic.

"I think we can be pretty happy. Renee did an awesome job as well, as did the car and the team," De Silvestro said.

"I think we can be happy with this one, certainly better than the last one."

De Silvestro returned to the mountain after teaming up with Gracie last year as a wildcard entry as the first all-female team to tackle Bathurst in almost 20 years.

In 2015 they were last - albeit after six teams failed to finish.

Their entry was also overshadowed by then Ford driver David Reynolds' now infamous "Pussy Wagon" description of them.

De Silvestro can now look forward to a bright future - not only for herself but female drivers.

Next year she will be the first female full-time touring car driver since Christine Gibson in 1975.

And Supercars boss James Warburton wants three women driving full-time by 2025.

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