LATE RACE HIT ENDS TOP-10 HOPES FOR DAVISON IRWIN Racing's Alex Davison has had a top-10 finish taken away during race ...
LATE RACE HIT ENDS TOP-10 HOPES FOR DAVISON
IRWIN Racing's Alex Davison has had a top-10 finish taken away during race #8 of the Supercar Championship Series at Tasmania's Symmons Plains Raceway.
An excellent race strategy vaulted Davison from his 19th starting position to 9th with 10 laps remaining. However, a hit in the rear damaged a wheel and he had to nurse the IRWIN Racing Ford home in 12th.
After using the soft option tyre in yesterday's race, Davison was one of only 10 cars to start on the harder standard Dunlop tyre in today's 200-kilometre race. Despite this, the IRWIN Racing driver put his head down and while others decided to pit early, Davison stayed on track and moved up the order.
He moved all the way to third position on the road before being caught behind Craig Lowndes and Garth Tander; who were effectively a lap behind the IRWIN Racing Falcon. The team called Davison to the pits on lap-35 of #82 for his first mandatory pit stop, adding 50-litres of fuel plus rear tyres only.
His pace remained good through the next period and he moved the IRWIN Racing Ford into first position before he made his final mandatory stop on lap-59 for another 50-litres of fuel, plus four new tyres.
One lap later James Courtney slammed into the wall and the field was brought under the control of the Safety Car. Davison was sitting 10th on the re-start and moved to ninth before another Safety Car was called after Jason Richards was left stranded on the track.
The mixture of cars on hard and soft tyres would soon end any hopes of a top-10 finish for Davison. He was hit from behind and the right-rear of the IRWIN Ford sustained damage. It was a credit to Davison that he only gave up three spots on the run to the chequered flag.
After eight races of the 2009 V8 Supercar Championship Series, Davison sits 15th in the championship standings. The next race will be at Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway 19-21 June.
WHAT ALEX DAVISON HAD TO SAY:
"The IRWIN Racing Ford was very good for the majority of the race. We had good speed and it was a shame that a top-10 was not the final result. I took a couple of hits in the rear after one of the late re-starts and it damaged something. It was tough at the end as some of the guys had the softer tyre on, and they seem to think that they can just drive you off the road. The strategy to stay out for a long period was clearly the right call. It was very difficult to follow who was doing what, but I just kept my head down and let the boys in the pits worry about everyone else. I got held up by Craig Lowndes and Garth Tander who were effectively a lap down, and if not for that we would have been even further up the road. The IRWIN Racing Falcon was not great in qualifying, so I was pleased that we got it on the mark for the race. We just need to get the sweet spot for both qualifying and the races."
WHAT IRWIN RACING ENGINEER WES McDOUGALL HAD TO SAY:
"Although it was not our best result today, we believe it was probably our best race in terms of pace and strategy. If not for the hit in the rear towards the end, the IRWIN Racing Ford would have for sure finished inside the top-10. We stuck to our strategy today which was the key to us being in position to challenge for a top-10 result. Alex did as great job behind the wheel; he constantly punched out fast laps and we moved up the order. We just need to lock-away a good qualifying session and carry that into a race."
WHAT IRWIN RACING TEAM PRINCIPAL ROSS STONE HAD TO SAY:
"I was pleased with how the team worked and Alex did a very good job driving today. The fact that he was sitting in behind Lowndes and Tander matching their pace shows that Alex and the IRWIN Racing team had a very good car today. The only disappointment in the race was that the IRWIN Racing team really deserved a better final result. For sure we are missing opportunities in qualifying and I'm sure that once we get that rectified we can use our race pace to score a very good result."