Alex Davison Fourth Overall At Grand Prix, Accident Prevents Podium
A multi-car accident on the first lap of today’s V8 Supercar race at Melbourne’s Australian Grand Prix has prevented IRWIN Racing’s Alex Davison from placing on the podium.
Eventually finishing fourth for the round, Davison started the third and final race of the weekend on the second row of the grid, in third place. The Queenslander made another blinding start and for the second race in a row he led the field to the first corner.
Leading the field on that first lap, Davison raced ahead of the carnage that immediately retired Steven Johnson, David Reynolds and Warren Luff after Craig Lowndes and Rick Kelly went into the wall at turn 10.
With only Davison and Jason Richards electing to start the race on the faster, soft option tyres, the entire field pitted immediately to change from hards to softs during the five lap safety car period.
Had Davison pitted also, he would have been forced to bolt on a set of hard tyres which would have made it extremely difficult to overtake on. With this in mind Davison stayed out as long as he could trying to create a gap in the field which might have helped him salvage a higher finishing result.
After his stop Davison was running 20th, which is where he would finish. Had the accident not happened the IRWIN Tools backed Ford Falcon had the speed to finish on the podium.
Outside of last two laps in today’s race IRWIN Racing had been running in the top three for the majority of the weekend.
Davison finished the first two races in third place and was on track to finish in the top two of today’s race.
IRWIN Racing showed the rest of the field that it was improving and should be seen as a genuine threat when the series returns to championship racing in New Zealand in three weeks time.
What IRWIN Racing’s Alex Davison had to say:
“We were definitely running well and I made another great start. I knew straight away that the IRWIN Ford had improved from the day before, we had really good pace especially on softs (tyres). The accident was disappointing, I knew when I saw the safety car come out that I was going to struggle, especially when I saw that everyone had pitted for softs. There was nothing I could do, so I put my head down and drove as hard as I could. The positive to take out of the race was that we had pace over Jamie (Whincup) or at least as good a pace as Jamie for the majority of that stint. Unfortunately the IRWIN Falcon used up its rear tyres more than his. Towards the end of the race the car started to get heaps of oversteer and I couldn’t keep him behind. We made some big steps forward this weekend with the car, we understand it better. It was a really good performance, there's still room for improvement which is a big positive given we have been running at the front of the field. It was fantastic though, we didn’t get to stand on the podium but any time you finish in the top three at a race, whether it’s a championship or non-championship round, is a good thing. Fourth for the weekend, even though I’m really disappointed that we got stitched up with the way the race unfolded, is still a good result. We got a lot of television coverage this weekend which is great for IRWIN Tools.”
What IRWIN Engineer Daniel Kroehn had to say:
“Unfortunately the way IRWIN Racing’s strategy played out with the tyres, the safety car fell into everyone else’s hands. We are not disappointed at all, it's disappointing not to come away with a podium after everyone has been working so hard, but once again we did our homework in terms of making the car better. I think the proof is in the pudding, we came away from the last race racing Jamie Whincup for the lead of the race until our pit stop and really it took quite a while for him to get away. I've bumped into a few old friends up and down pit lane and this morning they had their eyebrows raised about where we were. To turn around and probably be the only car other than Garth Tander to challenge Whincup for outright speed, already other teams are recognising that IRWIN Racing and Stone Brothers are a threat.”
-source: irwin racing