Why Will and new team 'punch above their weight'
FRESH from a crash in Townsville, Supercars stalwart Will Davison knows he has a big job ahead at this weekend's Ipswich SuperSprint round at Queensland Raceway.
But that is why the two-time Bathurst winner loves the challenge of top-level motorsport.
Having joined a new 23 Red Racing team this season, Davison is well out of championship contention being in 15th place heading into the two round 9 series races at Willowbank.
However, he's confident his Milwaukee Racing-backed Ford Falcon is improving after an incident-packed previous round in Townsville.
"Any race for us at the moment is a new opportunity to keep learning and keep fighting as a new team,'' Davison, 35, said.
"Although the ultimate race result in Townsville was disappointing, we can take so many positives out of the weekend.
"Again, I think we punched well above our weight as a team and we made a pretty strong impression in both qualifying and particularly Sunday morning qualifying in the shootout.
"We were fifth quickest Friday . . . we backed that up with qualifying fifth Sunday and running in the top five or six there for a majority of the race until the end there where unfortunately we were in a reasonable result and got taken out with only three or four laps to go and got put in the tyre wall.''
Davison was forced out of the race after a clash with rookie competitor James Golding with the finish line in sight.
"We were all pretty gutted there,'' Davison said.
"We certainly deserved a lot more but we were all pretty positive how we performed as a team.''
Chasing his first win in Ipswich since 2009, Davison accepted it was a tough task keeping pace with the larger franchises in the championship.
"Those big players are certainly on another level this year,'' Davison said.
"They are the powerhouse of Triple Eight and Penske teams.
"They are certainly performing at a very, very high level and it's the usual suspects who will be battling it out for the championship.
"It's hard for the smaller teams but not impossible.''
Although the established big guns like Scott McLaughlin, Shane van Gisbergen, Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes are in strong positions, Davison rates third-placed Dave Reynolds a major threat.
"There's always a few smokies in there,'' Davison said.
"There's quite a few guys who can mix it up any other week.
"We qualified fifth last week.
"We're hoping to upset a few of those guys on their day.
"But as far as the championship goes, I think it will come down to McLaughlin, van Gisbergen or Whincup.
"The Red Bull guys' form looked very ominous at Townsville and to bounce back and dominate like they did there shows the championship is far from over.''
Davison, who won at Bathurst in 2009 and 2016, is coming to Queensland Raceway for the 13th year.
"Like a lot of the circuits, you have good and bad memories,'' he said.
"I've won there in 2009. I've been on the podium in 2012 and 2013 . . . been in many top fives in other years.
"Certainly, I've had some good memories from there and it's a track that I've done thousands and thousands of testing miles at, although our current team - the 23 Red - we're a Victorian-based team.
"I still live on the Gold Coast and although that (QR) is not our test track this year, for many years of my career I've been out there testing so I know the place with my eyes shut, as does pretty much the whole field.''
Having been in the Supercars championship since 2006, Davison is enjoying being with a new team.
"It's a really good environment to be around, working hard,'' he said.
"We are all pretty positive.''
The Milwaukee Racing Team has a new paint scheme this weekend for the Queensland Raceway round.
Davison's Falcon features the latest product of the Tool manufacturer.
Davison was at the official launch of the high output 12.0 battery.
He said the new livery was a celebration of the title sponsor's latest innovation, with the race car renumbered 120 this weekend, to represent the achievement.
Tickets for this weekend's round in Ipswich are available at ticketek.com.au