Davison’s ‘Sprint’ to the Podium
Topics: SkyCity Triple Crown, Alex Davison
Stone Brothers Racing
June 21, 2009
IRWIN Racing’s Alex Davison surpassed even his own expectations today when he finished Race 2 of the Sky City Triple Crown in Darwin in second place. His podium finish was thanks to a brilliant and risky race strategy and his best ever qualifying result, starting on the grid in tenth position.
Qualifying didn’t go as planned for SP Tools Racing’s Shane van Gisbergen, carrying over yesterday’s problems with grip into today’s 20 minute session. Starting from 21st position Shane had his work cut out for him and recovered well in the race to finish 9th.
Shane van Gisbergen – Driver, SP Tools Racing Car #9
“We changed a few things with the car from yesterday and got the balance a little better but on the new tyres we just didn’t have any grip and were struggling to get anything out of it.
“We had good speed in the race, the car felt better but still not 100% right, we still had no grip on the hard tyres. We put on the softs in the middle of the race and were quick but as soon as we changed back to hard tyres we had no grip again and were having problems with brakes, the pedal was going to the floor.
“It is great to see Alex up on the podium to put a smile on the teams face. Hopefully you will see us both up there at Townsville.”
Alex Davison’s race started a little slower than the cars around him as they all took advantage of the soft tyres from the green light. SBR’s strategy was to position Alex well and with 20 laps left in the race change to soft tyres in order to give him a 15 lap sprint to the finish.
The gamble paid off. When Alex made his stop for soft tyres on Lap 51 he re-entered the track two seconds a lap quicker and was carving his way through the field. Only 7 laps later Tim Slade caused the first Safety Car period of the race but not before Alex set the quickest lap of the race on Lap 56. With the field bunched up once again Alex was given the opportunity to improve his position on the restart.
During the last 10 laps Davison streaked through the field finding himself in 3rd place with just two laps to go. On the final lap Alex had overtaken Craig Lowndes to take his step on the podium in second place, the result a huge thrill for Davison and the Stone Brothers Racing Team.
Alex Davison – Driver, IRWIN Racing Car #4
“Today was a great day we had our first top ten qualifying which is not easy in the category, and has been a big goal of mine since the start of the year.
“I knew for the whole race that we were saving our soft tyres for the end. It was hard to be patient when we were on hard tyres and we were losing positions here and there to guys on soft tyres. Its hard not to freak out when cars are passing you a second a lap quicker.
“I trusted that the guys had made a few calculations and planned pretty well, we were blessed with the safety car.
“Once we got on soft tyres I just kept plugging away, I wasn’t even asking what position we were in, I had no idea until we were about 3rd. I asked Wes what position we were in towards the end and he said 3rd and I could see the two guys ahead of me so obviously I got excited.
“Prior to today I wasn’t that keen on the whole soft tyre thing but I have changed my mind on that now and I think they are fantastic!
“Big thanks to everyone at Stone Brothers Racing, Ross and Jimmy. Also our team sponsors, IRWIN and Ford. It’s a great opportunity I have been given this year after I was written off there for a while, V8 Supercars is a pretty hard deal to get back into when you have already been booted out once. I couldn’t be happier at the moment and I am looking forward to kicking on for the rest of the year.”