Adelaide: IRWIN Racing preview

IRWIN RACING READY FOR AUSSIE V8 OPENER IRWIN Racing's Alex Davison heads to the first Australian round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series, the Clipsal 500, on the streets of Adelaide confident of a strong result after up and down...

IRWIN RACING READY FOR AUSSIE V8 OPENER

IRWIN Racing's Alex Davison heads to the first Australian round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series, the Clipsal 500, on the streets of Adelaide confident of a strong result after up and down performances at the opening Middle East double-header.

Davison qualified in the top-10 for both of the opening races at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, and took a ninth place finish in the opening race. Unfortunately an incident in which he suffered a punctured tyre and damaged steering ruined any chance in the second race. The following weekend in Bahrain didn't bring the desired results where he finished just inside the top-20 on the low-grip track.

Now focussed for what is one of the biggest races on the V8 calendar, Davison is confident of returning to the top-10. The IRWIN Racing driver is also confident of being on the pace of his Stone Brothers Racing teammate Shane van Gisbergen; who collected two podium finishes from the four races in the Middle East.

The IRWIN Racing Ford will take to the track in opening practice with the same base-line set-up as van Gisbergen. From that point Davison and race engineer David Stuart will work to further refine the package for qualifying and the races.

The Clipsal 500 is recognised as being one of the toughest races in the V8 series. The twin-250km races around the unforgiving layout brings out the best in the teams and drivers. Also sure to play its hand will be the safety car. Ironically the opening four races on the wider Grand Prix circuits of Abu Dhabi and Bahrain resulted in no safety cars; it's anticipated that this will not be the case on the Adelaide streets.

With around 300,000 people expected to watch the four-day racing carnival, scoring a top result at the Clipsal 500 would be a huge boost to the IRWIN Racing team. It would also go a long way to Davison heading back towards the top-10 in the championship chase.

What IRWIN Racing's Alex Davison had to say:
"Our pace was very good at Yas Marina, especially in qualifying. I feel that Abu Dhabi was our true form; the IRWIN Ford was doing everything I wanted it to and the entire team was clicking along nicely. The fact that our teammate Shane van Gisbergen collected two podium results in the Middle East shows that the potential is there. We have decided to use his base set-up for practice in Adelaide and then aim to improve the IRWIN Ford from there. I can't remember a V8 weekend with no safety cars, let alone having four-straight races without one. Adelaide will be the complete opposite with the close proximity of the concrete barriers and very few run-off areas. It's one of the toughest events on the drivers, as the twin-250km races really take its toll. The event itself is one of the marquee events in the championship and it certainly would feel very special to get the championship chase back on track with a strong result at the Clipsal 500"

What IRWIN Racing Engineer David Stuart had to say:
"Clipsal is a tough event, but these days we race pretty much race 400km every weekend so we are more attuned to longer events. We will have a set-up along the lines of Shane's car for Adelaide. We then need to ensure that is the right direction for the IRWIN team and then we will adjust accordingly. I doubt either race in Adelaide will run without a safety car. In saying that, the safety car can only work in your favour if it comes out onto the circuit when you need it to. Alex is making steady improvement in qualifying and I'm sure that will again show in Adelaide. Now that the Clipsal 500 is not the first event of the year we do have a good idea where everyone is at. The good news for the IRWIN Racing team is that our form from Abu Dhabi certainly shows that we are in the top-10 and that will be our goal once again for Adelaide."

-source: irwin racing

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Alex Davison , Shane van Gisbergen