Davison third fastest in Donington test. Aussie helps put Alan Docking Racing up front in F3 testing. Australian Formula 3 international Will Davison has stamped himself as a podium-scoring contender in this year's British Formula 3 Championship...
Davison third fastest in Donington test.
Aussie helps put Alan Docking Racing up front in F3 testing.
Australian Formula 3 international Will Davison has stamped himself as a podium-scoring contender in this year's British Formula 3 Championship by clocking the third fastest time in official testing at Donington last Thursday.
Davison took his Alan Docking Racing Dallara/Mugen-Honda around the historic layout in a best time of 1m03.849s over 107 laps, just three- tenths behind experienced F3 driver, South African Alan van der Merwe, who drives for Carlin Motorsport. This year is Davison's first in a F3 car, so his achievement at Donington is a further indication of his speed and natural ability.
"Overall, it went very well," reported the 20-year-old from Melbourne, who has just re-taken residence in Buckinghamshire, England.
"In the morning I was on top of the times for a while. We put a new set of tyres on and set a quick time and everybody else went out on new tyres as well. Van der Merwe went and put another set on and beat the time. If I'd had a chance to put on another set, I'm sure we could have gone faster again. But we elected to work on some other things rather than chase the glory of fast times in testing.
"In the afternoon we ran on used tyres while everyone around me was on new tyres, so it's very encouraging from an Alan Docking Racing point of view."
Davison is confident that there's even more speed in his Formula 3 machine, given that the ADR squad is yet to receive its updated aerodynamics kit for the team's Dallara chassis, which other teams have been testing with. The new kit simply gives the new car more downforce and, therefore, faster lap times.
"We know the car speed's there. Most of the teams have been running with the new aero kit. We should have it for next week and I'm pretty confident that once we've got it, we'll be quicker. With the new kit, you can reduce the rear wing angle
and retain the same amount of downforce that the old one has, so that should make up a tenth or two of a second."
Last Tuesday, Davison had stepped straight off a 24-hour flight back from Australia and tested for a full day at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby. The F3 teams will race on a track including an infield section, rather than the banked oval used in the last two seasons by CART's Champ Cars.
Despite never having been to the circuit and being jet-lagged after his trip back to England from official duties as an Australian Grand Prix Corporation ambassador at his home Grand Prix, Davison was highly impressive, clocking the seventh fastest time, as the ADR squad smartly went about its business of working hard and improving their car, rather than bolting on set after set of new tyres in a bid to steal the pre-season headlines.
"It's a pretty difficult track to learn," said Davison, a Rockingham rookie.
"There's a few tricky corners which take a bit of time to work up to. We spent plenty of time on old tyres again, so there's more to come on new tyres."
Davison and ADR will test again this Tuesday (March 18) at Croft in an official Formula 3 test, followed by one at Snetterton a week later (March 25) and another at Rockingham. A test at Donington two days before the April 5/6 championship opener at the same venue will be the Australian's last test before the title chase begins.
<pre> Donington F3 Combined Testing Times: 1. Alan van der Merwe (South Africa - Carlin Motorsport) 1m03.544s 2. Rob Austin (Great Britain - Menu Motorsport) 1m03.695s 3. Will Davison (Australia - Alan Docking Racing) 1m03.849s 4. Jamie Green (Great Britain - Carlin Motorsport) 1m03.937s 5. Danny Watts (Great Britain - Hitech Racing) 1m03.971s