After grabbing his first victory with Team TEKNO and capturing the points lead in the second round of the 2016 V8 Supercars Championship season, Darrell Lea STIX driver Will Davison was ready to push hard to maintain his lead coming into Round 3 at Phillip Island.
“I still feel like I’ve got a bit of learning to do in this car but we’ve shown what we can do,” said Davison.
“But it’s tremendously satisfying to be properly competitive again, to score a win early in the season, and to know we can race the best of them.”
“It’s nice to come off of a good run in Tasmania, but we’re still heads down, staying focussed, making the car quicker every weekend and getting Will more comfortable so that we’re still there at the end,” added TEKNO Autosports’ team owner Jonathon Webb.
The practice sessions on Friday afternoon were a chance for Will and the team to test the limits of the #40 Holden Commodore around the 4.45km circuit, one of the fastest on the V8 Supercars calendar.
“We ran one set of tyres for the whole session, trying to get a read on the race car and always pushing the limit,” he remarked following Practice 1.
“We’re a little limited on rear grip but […] the car balance feels pretty good and we were certainly hanging it out a bit in the rear.”
A promising P5 result followed in Practice 2 as the second quickest Holden Commodore in the field, which would set the standard for the weekend’s first qualifying session on Saturday.
“We got a good run in there at the end. The car’s doing all the right things,” he said.
However, it wasn’t to be, with Will qualifying in P20 for Race 6 and finishing in P16.
He would later start the 200km Race 7 on Sunday in P16 after a fouled qualifying session.
“Qualifying didn’t go to plan this morning. [We’re] still struggling with the balance of the car, but I also didn’t do a good job. I didn’t get a run on the last set of tyres and shot off at T1,” said Will.
It’s been a tough weekend, but it’s not over.
“It was really promising late in the race (Race 6). You’re in the corners for such a long period of time and the difference between hero or zero is nothing, so hopefully we can get more of what we had at the end of yesterday.”
A good race strategy from Team TEKNO helped Will Davison move up in the mid-pack throughout the race to ultimately finish within the top 10 in P9.
“I enjoyed the race, I thought we executed it really well, I thought we did the strategy well, and I thought we did a really good middle stint [with] very good consistency.
“We jumped quite a few cars in the pits and I was able to pass some cars on the track, so we were moving forward.
“The race certainly went to plan.
“It’s nice to finish with a good solid points haul, and it’s been a tough weekend so we’ll spend a lot of time debriefing after this weekend and trying to understand our weaknesses, but certainly knowing we moved forward in the end is something to walk away from.
“There were glimpses of brilliance in the car, but we just haven’t been able to put it all together over the course of this weekend like we showed in Tasmania, but no doubt we’ll get back to those ways soon.”
For Will it’s all about moving on and looking toward the next round in the Championship.
“I enjoy Perth. It’s the complete polar opposite to this track (Phillip Island). It’s slippery, it’s sandy, and I’ve had great results there in the past with good memories from last year.
“Our car’s got good tyre life and that’s generally the key to success around there, but it’s probably one of the most critical circuits on the calendar for chassis balance and setup.
“I’m absolutely looking forward to it.”
Catch Will Davison and the Darrell Lea STIX team at the next round of the V8 Supercars Championship for the Perth SuperSprint at Barbagallo Raceway on 6-8 May.