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HomeNewsDJR locks in De Silvestro/Allen Bathurst 1000 wildcard

DJR locks in De Silvestro/Allen Bathurst 1000 wildcard

DICK Johnson Racing has officially confirmed its first ever Bathurst 1000 wildcard, to be driven by Simona De Silvestro and Kai Allen.

The duo will share a third Shell V-Power Mustang, running the #98 with a to-be-confirmed livery.

For De Silvestro, it marks her Supercars comeback having last raced at the 2019 Newcastle 500, while 18-year-old Allen will make his top-level debut.

WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR: 2023 Bathurst 1000 entry list

Allen is considered a star of the future, with DJR understood to already have him under contract for the next several years.

This is the first step towards a mooted 2025 main game seat, with more wildcards and a co-drive in a lead DJR car tipped for next season.

MORE: DJR protege draws Whincup comparisons

“Kai Allen is a young talent we have had an eye on for over a year now,” said DJR team principal Ben Croke.

“He drove the Mustang last year on an evaluation day and I was impressed with his speed, maturity, and work ethic.

“Simona brings a wealth of experience to the team. She will be a fantastic mentor for Kai through his first Repco Bathurst 1000, as she continues to be an inspiration for aspiring female drivers.”

Ben Croke. Pic: Ross Gibb

CEO David Noble described the pairing as “the perfect combination” and De Silvestro made no secret of her excitement.

“I am thrilled to race back at the iconic track in Bathurst and want to thank DJR and Shell V-Power for this amazing opportunity,” said the Swiss 34-year-old, who was in the Supercars paddock last month in Darwin.

“Four years has been too long but who would have thought in 2019 that I would not be able to travel to Australia for such a long time.

“I am looking forward to teaming up with young talent Kai and I am sure we will make a great team.

“Of course, I also want to thank Harvey Norman and Katie Page who have been supporting me all my career in Australia. I can’t wait to be back in Australia in September to start testing the new Gen3 car.”

Former Tickford Racing and Kelly Racing driver Simona De Silvestro (right) speaks with Jess Yates in Darwin. Pic: Ross Gibb

Allen added: “I’m so proud and excited to be joining DJR as part of their first Bathurst wildcard, representing the Shell V-Power brand.

“I’m really looking forward to working with such a knowledgeable and well-respected team, who have seen so much success over the years.

“Co-driving with Simona will no doubt be a highlight of the year and I can’t wait to learn from her, as she is such an experienced driver.”

Leading the #98 Mustang crew will be Mikey Flynn.

Despite having been approved to also enter the Sandown 500, the DJR wildcard appears set for a Bathurst-only campaign.

It will be one of three wildcards at Mount Panorama, along with Triple Eight Race Engineering (Zane Goddard/Craig Lowndes) and the Blanchard Racing Team (Aaron Love/TBC).

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