Davison ready to strike in British F3 opener Strong testing results gives Australian ace confidence Australian international motor racing star Will Davison is ready to race for the title in this year's British Formula 3 Championship, which ...
Davison ready to strike in British F3 opener
Strong testing results gives Australian ace confidence
Australian international motor racing star Will Davison is ready to race for the title in this year's British Formula 3 Championship, which begins at Donington Park in England this weekend.
The 21-year-old has been strong in recent testing in his Menu Motorsport- run #5 Dallara/Opel-Speiss and enters his second year in the British F3 Championship with confidence.
Davison hasn't been out of the top four in recent official testing days at Croft, Snetterton and Donington and returns to Donington for the opening rounds with confidence after a strong run there in last year's penultimate round of the series.
"Our testing's been really, really positive," said Davison this week.
"We've been right up there with the quickest guys without doing lots of sessions on new tyres, so it's going to be a close championship.
"We haven't had any real running in the dry, so we will be straight out and into it for qualifying on Saturday. But everything is good within the team, so we're not overly concerned about it."
Davison spent time this week at Avon Tyres headquarters, furthering his knowledge of the new Avon tyre that will be used in this year's F3 Championship and is vastly different to that used in 2003.
"This year's tyre comes on a bit quicker than last year's," he said.
"It's got a lot more grip and probably is a bit more consistent. The overall life isn't as long, but they peak a bit earlier and have a lot more overall grip, so the braking distances are a lot shorted and the mid corner speeds are a lot higher. There's definitely a knack to getting the most out of them.
"Making the car as friendly on its tyres over a race distance is what we've been working on. We feel we've got a good handle on them though."
The cut-throat British F3 series has been the launching pad for many Formula 1 stars, such as Juan Pablo Montoya, David Coulthard, Rubens Barrichello and Aussie star Mark Webber and the class of 2004 is a strong one.
Davison expects the 2003 championship-winning team, Carlin Motorsport, to again be strong challengers for the 2004 crown with their four-car squad, along with the P1 Motorsport team.
"The Brazilian Dirani will be quick for Carlin, as will his team-mate Clivio Piccione," said Davison.
"I think Nelson Piquet Jr will get his act together after a few sub- standard results in testing and my own team-mate Fairuz (Fauzy) has been very fast. Ernesto Viso and Adam Carroll, who are driving for P1 Motorsport, will also be ones to look out for."
Davison isn't the only Australian influence within the Menu team. Fellow Aussie Mick Kouros is chief engineer of the team and the two have already established a strong working relationship.
"I feel really settled in the team environment," said Davison.
"Mick's the sort of guy who is always looking for something wrong and to improve on. The whole crew works incredibly hard and that's what I'm focusing on doing as well."
The venue for the opening round of the championship, Donington, has been re- surfaced since Davison last raced there late last year, though the young Australian doesn't see it as a problem in terms of car setup.
"I had only just started with Menu late last year when we visited Donington and was still getting used to the car. There's no reason why we can't be quick. It's a shame we didn't get to test there in the dry because the track resurfacing means the kerbs are a bit different as well."
Davison recently launched a new website while in Australia for the Foster's Australian Grand Prix, for which he is an Official Ambassador.
www.sellmyshirt.com has received thousands of visits on the internet, where t-shirts are for sale to support his racing program and celebrities have donated signed shirts to auction via the web site.
Davison, who is scheduled to test a Minardi/Cosworth Formula 1 car mid- season for expat Aussie Paul Stoddart, finished eighth in last year's championship, having won a round at Croft and finished second in the season- closer at Brands Hatch.
He will race for a team owned by former British Touring Car Champion Alain Menu and have Malaysian racer Fairuz Fauzy as his team-mate for the 24- round championship.
Rounds one and two will be held this weekend at Donington before the series moves to Silverstone on April 18.