Hamilton: IRWIN Racing preview

IRWIN RACING TO CROSS THE TASMAN FOR HAMILTON 400 IRWIN Racing's Alex Davison is out for a stronger performance in the second round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series, the Hamilton 400 in New Zealand from 17-19 April. Davison is currently...

IRWIN RACING TO CROSS THE TASMAN FOR HAMILTON 400

IRWIN Racing's Alex Davison is out for a stronger performance in the second round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series, the Hamilton 400 in New Zealand from 17-19 April.

Davison is currently equal 17th in the standings after the opening round in Adelaide. His weekend at the Clipsal 500 was hampered when an engine failure early in practice left him next to no track time heading into qualifying. He recovered to finish 15th in the opening race, before electrical issues in the second race left him in 25th.

Things didn't improve the following weekend at the non-championship Grand Prix support event, with another engine problem sidelining Davison in practice once again. Importantly Davison and the IRWIN Racing team did get through all three races and gain valuable information on the new FG Ford Falcon.

Since that race Davison, along with race engineer Wes McDougall, have been over all the data gathered from the opening two weekends of the season. The result has been some minor changes to the IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford and the team feels confident that this will result in a better performance on the streets of Hamilton.

Despite this being Davison's first visit to Hamilton, it is only the second time that the V8 Supercar Series has raced on the tricky street layout. Organisers and local authorities have made some minor changes to the track, including the re-profiling of the back-straight chicane and road resurfacing on some of the bumpy sections.

It is the third straight visit to a street course to start the season, but Hamilton's characteristics differ from Adelaide and Albert Park. With passing opportunities at a premium, qualifying and good pit stops are crucial for success in New Zealand.

Part of the Waikato region, Hamilton is also considered a local race for the IRWIN Racing team, with Team Principals Jimmy and Ross Stone originating from Onewhero in the northern Waikato.

WHAT ALEX DAVISON HAS TO SAY:

"I'm really looking for to getting over to Hamilton and getting the IRWIN Ford on the pace," said Davison.

"We have been through all the data from the opening two races and are confident that with plenty of track time we can have a stronger performance in New Zealand.

"Track time is so critical and we are all very keen to get the most out of the practice sessions in Hamilton. The track is new to me, but the series has only been there once before, so the disadvantage is not as great as other tracks.

"The team is working very well; we just want a strong performance to reward all that hard work."

WHAT WES McDOUGALL HAS TO SAY:

"The results were not necessarily outstanding, but we learnt a lot from the first two events of the year," said McDougall.

"The IRWIN Racing team got a lot of information on the car, plus both Alex and I have been through all the data since the race meeting.

"We lost pretty much all of our practice time in Adelaide and the Grand Prix with engine problems. The whole IRWIN Racing team is looking forward to using all the practice time in Hamilton.

"The team can try different things with the car to ensure we get things heading in the right direction. Then really be in a stronger position for qualifying and the races."

WHAT ROSS STONE HAS TO SAY:

"After such a frantic start to the year, it's been good to go through a normal preparation process for Hamilton," said Ross Stone.

"We came out of the back-to-back weekend at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide and the Grand Prix meeting with next to no damage. That has allowed the boys to really concentrate on improving the IRWIN Falcon for Hamilton.

"There is now separate qualifying on the Saturday and Sunday, which on that track is critical as it is so hard to pass.

"It's a hard street race. Hard on the drivers, crews and especially on brakes. Plus I'm sure the weather will play its part."

-credit: bammedia.com.au

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Alex Davison , Ross Stone