Hidden Valley: Irwin Racing weekend summary

DAVISON GRABS IRWIN RACING'S FIRST EVER V8 PODIUM IRWIN Racing's Alex Davison has put in the V8 drive of his career to score a well-deserved second place finish at the Sunday race of the SKYCITY Triple Crown at Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway....

DAVISON GRABS IRWIN RACING'S FIRST EVER V8 PODIUM

IRWIN Racing's Alex Davison has put in the V8 drive of his career to score a well-deserved second place finish at the Sunday race of the SKYCITY Triple Crown at Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway. The podium performance was both his and IRWIN Industrial Tools' best-ever V8 Supercar Championship Series race result.

Davison used speed and strategy to finish just 0.6 of a second behind race winner Michael Caruso.

Today was Davison's 31st start in the V8 Supercar Championship Series. His previous best race result was 8th at Bathurst in 2007 and his previous best qualifying performance was 13th at Sandown in 2007.

Davison has moved from 15th in the championship to 13th.

The result is the best for naming rights sponsor IRWIN Industrial Tools which joined the V8 Supercar Championship Series in 2007. For the Stone Brothers Racing organisation it was their best race result since finishing third at last year's Bathurst 1000.

The day started on the right note with Davison qualifying 10th; a career best and six spots better than his previous highest starting position ofthis season; which he set at Hamilton (New Zealand).

Despite having a fresh set of soft tyres available to him, Davison started today's race on the standard rubber and was placed ninth at the end of the opening lap. A number of cars on the soft tyres moved ahead of Davison during the opening stages, but the IRWIN driver and crew stuck to their race plan of keeping the soft tyres for the end of the race.

During the pit stop sequence Davison took the lead from lap #21 to #28, when he made his first of two stops for the race. Fuel and four fresh standard tyres were put on the IRWIN Racing Ford and Davison once again put his foot down.

Davison moved to third before making his final stop of the race on lap #50, when the team put the soft tyres on the IRWIN Falcon. Returning to the track in 17th the IRWIN Ford became the focus as Davison set consecutive fastest laps of the race; this despite passing other cars along the way.

The race was then turned on its head with the only safety car of the entire weekend of racing with 10-laps left to run.

Re-starting 10th Davison picked off cars and moved closer to the leaders. The IRWIN Ford moved ahead of Craig Lowndes at the start of the final lap, and finished on the rear bumper of Caruso as the chequered flag flew!

WHAT ALEX DAVISON HAD TO SAY:

"What a day. This is a great reward for everyone at Stone Brothers and IRWIN Racing who have kept focused on the job. We have had our problems this season, but not once has anyone in the team dropped their head. I have to thank Ross and Jimmy Stone for the opportunity they have provided me, IRWIN Industrial Tools and Ford for their support and everyone in the team for their professionalism and dedication. It was a little tough out there earlier in the race on harder tyres and seeing guys race past you, but you just have to be patient. We were blessed with the safety car at the end which gave us a final shot at the win and I guess we were one turn short. I cannot tell you what it was like on those softer tyres late in the race. I was passing guys like taking candy from a baby. I can understand how those other guys were feeling when they were passing me earlier in the race. It has been important to keep myself in a seat the last couple of years in Europe hoping I would get another shot at V8 Supercars. I had to erase everything about driving Porsches and re-learn to drive one of these cars and it has been my total focus. Whether we have had car problems or I have made a mistake, no one has given up. We want to keep building on that and then really develop something here over the next two and a half years."

WHAT IRWIN RACING ENGINEER WES McDOUGALL HAD TO SAY:

"Just a fantastic result for everyone. Alex drove a smart and calculated race and showed a lot of patience on hard tyres in the middle stint. We lost 12 seconds in the first stop and decided to put a bit more fuel in as a result which gave us a second shorter stop which was spot on. Everyone could have dropped their heads after the longer stop, but they just kept their cool and got on with the job. Alex and the team made a big jump at the last test day, but I was really giving him until the next race in Townsville where everyone would be on a new track and a level playing field for him to be in the hunt. The result today was above our expectations, which makes them even more enjoyable."

WHAT IRWIN RACING TEAM PRINCIPAL ROSS STONE HAD TO SAY:

"We did not really give Alex the best start to the season when we dropped and engine after the first few laps of the first session in Adelaide and then another one at the Grand Prix. He really has only had one real good test day and a few races to get his head around this. I told him all the signs were there and he should just take his time and he would get there. He is a smart racer and his feedback is good and that is a lot of the equation. Today is a good reward for the entire team. We just have to move forward from here."

WHAT IRWIN INDUSTRIAL TOOLS AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND MANAGING DIRECTOR NICK PRITCHARD HAD TO SAY:

"There is a lot the commercial world can learn about teamwork from a good motor sport operation. Today's result was fantastic for IRWIN Industrial Tools, but to see the smiles on Alex's face and everyone at Stone Brothers Racing after the race was a great experience. Sure, the team has had its issues this season, but they have kept punching. The result today will hopefully be a great foundation for the rest of the year and one step higher on the podium in the not too distant future."

NEXT RACE WEEKEND

Races 11 and 12 in the V8 Supercar Championship Series will be the Dunlop 400 on a brand new street track in Townsville Queensland on 10-12 July.

-credit: irwin

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Craig Lowndes , Alex Davison , Michael Caruso
Teams CIP