Australian debuts with charging drive in new surroundings at Spa Australian international racer Will Davison has changed teams for the remainder of the 2003 British Formula 3 Championship and joined highly-successful squad, Menu...
Australian debuts with charging drive in new surroundings at Spa
Australian international racer Will Davison has changed teams for the remainder of the 2003 British Formula 3 Championship and joined highly-successful squad, Menu Motorsport.
The 21-year-old debuted in his new Dallara/Opel-Spiess mount at the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium on the weekend, after racing in the early part of the season for expat Aussie Alan Docking's team.
The change of teams follows a series of poor qualifying results, which have been below his usual high standards in recent rounds. The new team, atmosphere and environment leaves him confident of a return to the form which saw him dominate round 5 of the championship in May, at the final championship rounds at Donington and Brands Hatch.
"Naturally enough, the recent lack of results has forced us to come to a difficult decision to part company with Alan Docking Racing, which was born out of the fact that the budget for the season from our investors was drying up due to the lack of results," said Davison, who joins fellow Australian, engineer Mick Kouros, at the Brands Hatch-based outfit.
"We parted with ADR on totally amicable terms and sat down to plan just where we would go from there. On Tuesday of this week a budget came through and there was a seat available at Menu Motorsport, so the deal all came together relatively quickly, really.
"I'm confident that the package we have, coupled with a new team, will give me the confidence boost I need to round out 2003 and have a solid finish to take into next year."
Davison endured a difficult weekend at Spa, having not as much as even sat in the car prior to first practice which was held in damp and changing conditions coupled with the fact that the former Formula Ford champion had never raced at the 6.9-kilometre circuit.
The first qualifying session was held in wet conditions, Davison qualifying 16th, two spots ahead of highly-rated team-mate for the weekend, Dutchman Robert Doornbos.
The second session was held in dry weather, the session being the first time Davison had driven the circuit or the car in the dry. He clocked the 15th fastest time, though was relegated to 22nd on the grid due to passing under yellow caution flags.
"I didn't see any flags so to be moved back and have my fastest time disallowed was pretty disappointing," said Davison.
The first race was run in the wet on late Saturday afternoon and turned into something of a farce. Although it was dry when it started, the infamous Spa weather turned sour and showers followed.
The change in weather, coupled with a few accidents around the circuit meant that officials red-flagged the event and declared the results after 5 of 11 scheduled laps.
Davison made up two positions to finish 14th, but he starred in Sunday's race, which was damp to begin with until the sun shone through to dry the track.
From 22nd on the grid, the Croft round winner made his now customary flying start, passing six cars on the opening lap before working his way up the order, taking 11th place from Clivio Piccione at the Bus Stop chicane on the last lap.
With two Invitation Class cars finishing ahead of him from the Euro Series and not eligible for championship points, Davison was classified ninth in the Championship car class and picked up two championship points, an amazing comeback from a lowly qualifying position.
"The car became easier to drive as the weather cleared and the track dried out a bit, but it was very hard in the opening laps because the spray kicked up by the cars in front made it impossible to see," said Davison, who celebrated his 21st birthday on Saturday.
"This weekend was all about getting comfortable in the car and with the team, not so much on the results. It's important that I've raced at Spa. The experience from racing here will be filed away in the memory bank for next time for sure!
Davison now heads back to England for the next two rounds of the series next weekend at Donington Park and it's there where the Australian charger is aiming for a good result.
"The Menu cars have been very quick at Donington in the past, so that gives me something to work hard for next weekend," said Davison.
"We have to finish off the season with some strong results. There's only four races left over two weekends, so we'll work hard at it."