Estoril: Team Australia race report

WILL DAVISON FIGHTS TO 6TH IN PORTUGUESE A1 THRILLER! ESTORIL, PORTUGAL -- October 23, 2005: Will Davison, having his first race drive for A1 Team Australia has taken sixth place in the feature race at Portugal's Estoril circuit after a ...

WILL DAVISON FIGHTS TO 6TH IN PORTUGUESE A1 THRILLER!

ESTORIL, PORTUGAL -- October 23, 2005: Will Davison, having his first race drive for A1 Team Australia has taken sixth place in the feature race at Portugal's Estoril circuit after a challenging weekend for the Australian team in The World Cup of Motorsport.

A superb pitstop strategy employed by the team, along with conservation of his PowerBoost 'hits' saw Davison advance from the final row of the grid to be firmly inside the top ten.

Davison was left out longer than many of his rivals to get some quick laps under his belt in clear air in an attempt to advance himself up the running order. Having survived the numerous safety car periods throughout the race, Davison was running strongly in fifth position for much of the middle part of the race.

Late in the race, struggling with tyres that had worn severely in the laps after the pitstop, he was engaged in a battle with local driver, Alvaro Parente, eventually succumbing to the Portuguese challenge with five laps remaining.

Next, Davison was under attack from A1 Team Italy's Enrico Toccacello, the Italian on a charge and sitting right on Davison's rear wing for the closing stages of the race. The young Melburnian managed to hold him out, crossing the line in sixth placing, adding five points to Australia's World Cup of Motorsport points haul, which means the Aussies remain in fifth placing and are now in striking distance of traditional rivals, New Zealand.

The Sprint Race wasn't as fruitful for Davison, the Australian challenge being snuffed out on the second corner with a multi-car pileup -- Davison unable to get re-started.

Qualifying didn't reflect the true pace of the Australian car, Davison being forced to start the opening race down in 19th position, after being fourth quickest in the inclement conditions on Friday. Several electrical gremlins hampered the Australian qualifying effort, not least of which was a fire extinguisher that malfunctioned during one of his four runs, coating the 23 year old in extinguisher foam.

Attention for A1 Team Australia now turns to their home event at Sydney's Eastern Creek International Raceway across the weekend of November 4-6 and now he's had his first taste of A1 Grand Prix action -- Davison can't wait to get out there in front of his home crowd.

WILL DAVISON -- A1 Team Australia Driver: "That was one of the most exciting races I've ever done. It was full on from the start and the battles with Portugal and Italy were a lot of fun. This was really the first time that I'd had the opportunity to do a heap of laps behind the wheel of an A1 Grand Prix car. Obviously, I would have liked to get a few more laps under my belt in the Sprint Race, which was disappointing for the team who've done such a great job throughout the weekend. We had a few problems in qualifying and 19th wasn't indicative of our pace. Either way, we've got some solid points in the bag and now we head back to Australia. We're looking forward to seeing plenty of green and gold to support us in Sydney. I can't wait, bring on Eastern Creek!"

ALAN JONES -- A1 Team Australia Team Principal: "Will has done an absolutely fantastic job after what has been a challenging weekend for the entire team. They did a sensational job in calling the pitstop when they did, that really allowed us to advance up the field. Sixth in the feature is a great result and we're now in striking distance of the top three. The feature race was an action-packed race - as has become the norm in A1 Grand Prix - and for Will to hold on with his tyres in the state they were was a top effort. Our attention now switches to Eastern Creek in two weeks time, where there will be a big crowd right behind A1 Team Australia. I'm looking forward to getting back home and preparing for what should be a massive event in Sydney."

Tickets for the A1 Grand Prix of Nations, Sydney November 4-6 start at just $20 and are available through Ticketmaster - www.ticketmaster.com.au or 136 100.

-team australia-

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Series A1GP
Drivers Will Davison , Alvaro Parente