Davison does it again
Frosty pits to change bent steering
Ford Performance Racing’s Will Davison has extended his lead at the head of the V8 Supercars Championship table with a come from behind win at the final ever ITM400 Hamilton.
Davison started an unplanned sixth after an error in the top 10 shootout, though a rapid start had him second by the third turn. He then locked in battle with Garth Tander for the opening sector of the race before gaining the lead at turn one on lap 27.
From there he controlled the race until the safety car was deployed in the last 20 laps, erasing his hard-fought 3.8-second lead.
At the restart he fended off Tander to win comfortably – his third victory of the season and one that gives him a 30 point series lead.
Team-mates Mark Winterbottom and David Reynolds made similarly good starts, though both would have their races ended prematurely.
Winterbottom started ninth, but by avoiding opening lap contact which occurred through most of the field he was soon third and catching Davison and Tander.
That was to be short-lived as contact with the tyre bundle at the chicane bent his steering and forced him to pit for repairs which put him down two laps. The remainder of the race was spent at the foot of the field but he claimed vital points for 23rd place.
David Reynolds briefly led and spent the majority of the race in the top four. He looked set to equal his career-best fourth until lap 53 when he struck the same tyre bundle as Winterbottom.
The impact occurred after it had been moved slightly by the car ahead of him, moving it into his racing line. The damage was too great to continue and he was forced out of the race.
In qualifying Davison claimed provisional pole with Winterbottom fourth and Reynolds sixth.
All three progressed to the top 10 shootout where things did not run as smoothly.
Winterbottom was adjudged to have shortcut the chicane and lost his chance to set a lap time. Davison made an error on his lap and only did enough for sixth, which left Reynolds to uphold team honours by snatching third – his equal career-best result.
Will Davison – #6 Tradingpost FPR Ford
Qualifying: 1st – 1m21.81s
Top 10 Shootout: 6th – 1m22.90s
Race result: 1st – Best lap: 1m22.96s
“It certainly was tough. The first lap was awesome for me. Obviously starting sixth wasn’t ideal but I knew we were quicker than that. Getting through the traffic was going to be the tricky thing, but popping out second from sixth was obviously fantastic. When we switched to the softs my car came on quite well and I played it smart and looked after the car. I had a good run on Garth (Tander) on the straight and got him into turn 1. I then managed fuel for a little while and kept an eye on the mirror. It is great for the team to get another win. A tough day for Frosty and Dave, but I’m sure they’ll come back strongly tomorrow.”
Mark Winterbottom – #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Ford
Qualifying: 4th – 1m22.02s
Top 10 Shootout: 9th – no time
Race result: 23rd – Best lap: 1m22.99s
“I made a great start and soon found myself in third. I thought I had the quickest car on track and was running quite comfortably behind Will and Garth before clipping the tyre barrier at the chicane. It was a minor impact but for some reason I must’ve hit it on the wrong angle and it bent the steering. While I am not blaming the chicane, I think it needs to be reviewed as so many drivers received penalties there today (for shortcutting). The whole thing is a bit of a shambles really. It is great for the team that Will won and put that speed we all have to good use to get a good result. My day will come and I just have to get some luck back on my side.”
David Reynolds – #55 The Bottle-O FPR Ford
Qualifying: 3rd – 1m22.14s
Top 10 Shootout: 3rd – 1m22.50s
Race result: DNF – Best lap: 1m22.98s
“I had a very entertaining race today and got caught up in incidents at both turn one and two. I then dropped back into the pack a bit before passing Craig (Lowndes). My tyre life was great and the car was just so quick and it let me keep pace with Jamie Whincup. Late in the race I was following closely behind him and he just clipped the tyre barrier at the chicane. The bundle bounced back and hit my right front and did enough damage to first bend and then break the steering just a few laps from home. It is a disappointing end but besides that we had a great day.”
Tim Edwards – FPR Team Principal
“Full credit to Will today. It was another measured drive which showed that not only our car was fast, but that we can pass and move through the pack with great pit stops and good car speed. Mark and Dave can be disappointed with their results as it was a pretty tough day out there all round. They both started extremely well and Mark was catching the leaders until he clipped the chicane tyre bundle. Dave was on to equal his best ever result and has equalled or better his more experienced team-mates across the weekend. His DNF was really no fault of his own and he was unlucky given how well and controlled he had been all day. I’m sure they will both bounce back tomorrow and take advantage of the pace on offer.”
ITM400 HAMILTON – RACE 1
1) Will Davison – Ford Performance Racing
2) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight
3) Garth Tander – HRT
4) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight
5) Rick Kelly – Kelly Racing
23) Mark Winterbottom – Ford Performance Racing
DNF) David Reynolds – Ford Performance Racing
1) Will Davison – Ford Performance Racing: 717 points
2) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 687
3) Mark Winterbottom – Ford Performance Racing: 507
4) Garth Tander – HRT: 497
5) Shane van Gisbergen: 471
20) David Reynolds – Ford Performance Racing: 225
1) Ford Performance Racing: 1224 points
2) Triple Eight: 1149
3) Stone Brothers Racing: 924