Darrell Lea STIX driver Will Davison has started his season strong, grabbing his first race win and the championship lead in only the second Championship round with his new team.
The stellar result came following the news of team manager Steve Hallam’s departure from the team just prior to the Symmons Plains round.
TEKNO Autosports’ team owner Jonathon Webb said the loss changed the team’s operations coming into Races 4 and 5 of the Championship.
“There was always going to be a different environment without Steve around, but all the boys in the crew have been around a long time,” he said.
“We are a small group so we’re relying on each individual but they’ve done a great job and picked up the slack.”
After scoring his first podium for TEKNO Autosports in Race 4 of the 2016 V8 Supercars season, Davison took the win in Sunday’s 200km race in what could only be described as a dramatic finish.
Oil on the track at the T4 hairpin forced the front runners Shane van Gisbergen and Mark Winterbottom off the track. Meanwhile, Davison held his composure and sailed through the drama to take the lead of the race and the eventual chequered flag.
“I’m a bit blown away by the way that finished,” remarked Davison. “I was pretty happy with the way the race was going anyway.”
“We had to stay calm and disciplined for the tyres, but obviously the Safety Car went against what our original plan was. We put in a lot of fuel in at the first [pit] stop and lost track position. It’s always tricky there doing quite a long stint behind a couple of cars and brakes are cooking and the tyres go off more that you’d like. It wasn’t entirely a comfortable situation, but the last stint we had a great stop…
“I was thinking a podium would be great, the top-4 would be a good consolidation from yesterday. It’s never over until it’s over and the car came alive and I was able to sneak under Craig who lost his tyres there in the closing stages.”
Davison also commended his team for their communication at the race’s frantic final stage.
“I got a really early warning as I came through T3. I saw them lock up and it was really hard to know what line to pick. I grabbed it, locked up and fortunately was able to sneak inside them.”
Will Davison is looking forward to working with the Darrell Lea STIX team for a strong and consistent 2016 season.
“We do this sport and it’s pretty serious, but races like that is what I’ve missed in the last couple of years. It’s good fun and very rewarding. It feels good to do it with the team,” he said. “Hopefully this is the first of many.”
But what does he think of championship talks this early in the season?
“It won’t start taking shape until halfway through the year.
“There’s a long way to go so I’m not going to talk championship, but it’s a nice feeling.
“We’ve had a great weekend but we’ve got to keep backing it up at other circuits.
“Getting a win early is a big relief, it takes pressure off, but consistency is what it’s all about,” said Will.
“The race pace is there. It’s a good boost for Will. A good boost for all the boys to know we’re still here and still in the hunt,” added Jonathon Webb.
“A lot has gone on in the off-season, but we’ve shown people what we can do and what we’ll continue to do for the remainder of the season.”
The Darrell Lea STIX team head to Philip Island for the next round of the V8 Supercars Championship on 15-17 April.