A DEAL for Simona De Silvestro to drive full-time for Triple Eight in the 2019 Supercars Championship fell over two days before deadline, Jess Dane has revealed.
Speculation was rife throughout much of 2018 that the all-conquering Holden squad was courting the Swiss to drive its third car for the following season, in place of the retiring Craig Lowndes.
The plan was thought to include Jess Dane as team manager for the entry, which would also have had a predominately female crew working on the car.
Ultimately though the deal fell over; Triple Eight scaled back to two cars and De Silvestro completed a third and final Supercars season with Kelly Racing before returning to Europe.
AUDIO: Jess Dane on the V8 Sleuth Podcast powered by Repco
Asked on the V8 Sleuth Podcast powered by Repco about how close a deal came for De Silvestro to drive a predominately female entry, Dane said: “Two days close, literally.
“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.”
Dane isn’t losing sleep over the missed opportunity though, pointing out that she and De Silvestro are both making the most of the opportunities before them.
De Silvestro competes as a Porsche factory GT driver and also returned to the Indianapolis 500 this year.
Dane meanwhile has taken on a variety of roles within the sport, from increased responsibilities at Triple Eight, to work with Motorsport Australia’s ‘Girls on Track’ initiative and various broadcasting commitments.
“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 that [the De Silvestro Triple Eight deal] had come to fruition, that would have been a really incredible thing to show up to girls as something to aspire to.”