Gracie accepts Reynolds’ apology

Female driver Renee Gracie admits Ford teammate David Reynolds’ offensive comment that earned a $25,000 fine from V8 Supercars was not an isolated incident in motor racing.

But the 20-year-old said she had accepted Reynolds’ apology for the remark and her all-female team were focused on tackling their first Bathurst 1000 race on Sunday.

Rising star Gracie and ex-Sauber Formula One test driver Simona De Silvestro are the first all-female team at Bathurst since 1998.

Asked about the team at a media conference on Thursday, Reynolds attempted a joke: “Don’t you mean the pussywagon”.

V8 Supercars boss James Warburton was quick to announce the heavy fine, labelling the comment “offensive”.

Gracie revealed on Friday it was not unusual to cop more of the same track-side.

“You would be surprised at how many times I have to deal with things like this,” she said.

“But we can’t let it take our focus away. We are professionals.

“It’s one of those things. The V8s have handled it.

“We are focusing on racing.”

Gracie said she did not have a problem with Reynolds who is part of the same Ford Prodrive Racing team garage at Bathurst.

“I have accepted his apology. That’s all I need,” she said.

At 20, Gracie proved the consummate professional as she did the media rounds on Friday to provide a classy response to Reynolds’ comment.

She hoped to be just as impressive on the Mount Panorama track on her Bathurst debut.

“When I first got here I was thinking ‘how am I going to do this?'” Gracie said.

“But after getting on the track it is not so daunting.”

The all-female team had already been forced to defend themselves this week after old school V8 great Dick Johnson claimed they were “a million to one” and had no chance of finishing their first Bathurst 1000.

“Dick Johnson hasn’t finished heaps of races so he can’t talk,” Gracie fired back then.

In all, 31 women have contested the Bathurst 1000 with a best placing of sixth – Australia’s Christine Gibson (1981) and France’s Marie-Claude Beaumont (1975).

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