Chelsea Angelo believes Simona de Silvestro is an inspiration to aspiring female drivers.
Angelo will be ramping up her own motorsport career this season when she takes on Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia with Wall Racing.
The 21-year old says de Silvestro is a testament that female drivers can make it into the Supercars Championship full time.
“Simona is a great inspiration to all of us young up-and-coming female drivers to let us know that we can get into Supercars and we can do what she is doing,” she told Paddock Pass Media.
“She’s definitely someone that I look up to, and I believe I have the self-confidence and ability to get to Supercars and do what Simona is currently.”
After starting out in open-wheelers, Angelo progressed to the Dunlop Super2 Series in 2016 before a lack of budget lead to a quite 2017 season.
However, she is ready to get back behind the wheel of a race car this year.
“I love the Porsche, I didn’t think I was going to be able to adapt to it that quickly before, but when I first got in the car it was just a natural habit for me to get into it and pick up on it straight away,” said Angelo.
“It not only gives me confidence to be able to race in this series, it also makes me able to learn what these sorts of cars do.
“On the test day we did last year, I was actually shocked at myself to do as well as I did, so I’m confident I can do well when the GT3 Cup season starts.”
This year, Angelo will not only have backing from her team, Wall Racing, but a number of sponsors too, including Grove Group and White Ribbon Australia on top of a personal mentor in the shape of 2017 Carrera Cup Australia champ; David Wall.
Angelo says there is pride in her role with White Ribbon as a figure in the motor sport industry to set a precedence and stand up to prevent men’s violence against women.
“I’m really happy to be able to represent as a figure who opposes violence against women and also to let other women know that White Ribbon are there for you and to have them on-board to promote that is just great,” she added.
“I definitely think White Ribbon sponsoring a female driver adds more depth in itself, and it’s fantastic that they are partnering with a woman in motorsport as it adds a lot more meaning to the whole situation.”
The Next Step:
Angelo outlined her future ambitions as a driver, with opportunities overseas not out of the question.
Although she admits it may take a while to get there, a seat in Supercars is what the young Melbournian is solemnly focused on for the next few years.
“If I do well this year with Wall Racing I’d like to transition into Carrera Cup the following year, I think that would be a great step on all fronts,” she said.
“After that I definitely want to be able to make it into the Supercars championship for a year, I’ve had my eyes set on Supercars for a while so that is my main goal to get there, but also if there are any opportunities that open up overseas, I’d be interested in going over there to pursue some stuff.”
Angelo’s 2018 campaign begins with her debut at the opening round of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, which takes place at The Bend Motorsport Park in April.