Though AlexDavison is ticking boxes in his JELD-WEN Ford Falcon this year, after missingout on a main game drive in 2012, he said he probably underestimated theintensity of the category upon return.
While Davison isthrilled with where he is at the moment and thankful the opportunity to drivewith FPR arose this year, he told v8supercars.com.au he would have preferred tohave had a drive last year, rather than sitting out of the series.
He contested thePorsche Carrera Cup and finished the year third in the points.
Davison found ittough to answer the question of whether it was better to have been without adrive in 2012 to be free for the opportunity with FPR.
“I couldn’t behappier than where I am now, that’s for sure,” he said. “It’s a good opportunityand things are going well, but I would have much rather have had a drive last year.
“It was difficultsitting out the year and coming back in – I probably underestimated gettingback into things and into V8 Supercars, as well as getting used to the intensityof the category.
“If I could goagain, I’d much rather have had a drive last year, but the way things workedout it couldn’t be better.
“Everyone saysthings happen for a reason and potentially that’s why things have worked outthis way.”
Davison had awhirlwind weekend at the last event at Barbagallo Raceway and is well on hisway to ticking off his goals in the JELD-WEN Falcon.
The #18 Forddriver said the weekend at the Chill Perth 360 – from recording a top fivefinish, dealing with an engine gremlin and double stacking in Sunday’s lastrace – represented a good step forward, without looking at the results tooclosely.
“With qualifying,we found good consistency and were there in the top 10 for the last fivequalifying sessions in a row, including New Zealand,” Davison said.
“Qualifying is anarea we’re really working hard on – and that hard work has paid off.
“We’re makingprogress for sure and the step forward is satisfying.”
The goal for nowis to get more out of Practice.
“One of our goalsis to have a more solid day on Friday and work methodically throughout Practicewithout getting lost with setup and trying too much crazy stuff,” Davisonexplained.
“We achieved that(in Perth) and that means we finished Practice Saturday morning with a bettercar than other race weekends, we were set up for the weekend and morecompetitive.”
Keeping themomentum going is one of the most important things for Davison – stayingin the top five, or 10; and pushing to be on the podium ASAP.
“I’m always workingon improving myself and after each race we’re collectively trying to giveourselves a better race car.
“As a team we’regetting better every day, I feel I’m driving better ever day – a lot ofingredients have to be right, it’s not an easy fix. It’s just about understand thecar, how it works, what to do and the better feedback I can give.”
And Alex isn’tthe only Davison in the four-car FPR squad. Younger brother Will – who ledthe Championship coming out of New Zealand and currently sits second between the two RedBull Racing Commodores – is someone Alex enjoys working with.
“It’s great– it’s a big team now with four cars and four drivers – and it’sgreat having Will as a teammate.
“Generally in thepast we would hardly see each other (at a race meeting) and we’ve never been inthe capacity to work together in any way, shape or form.
“It’s goodspending time with him and he’s one of the leading guys and right on top of hisgame, so to have someone like that as a teammate is helpful.He helps me outwherever he can.
“We’re gettingcloser and closer (in terms of car 18'a performance) to Mark (Winterbottom) and Will,and they’re two of the benchmarks I am aiming for.”
Davison islooking forward to racing in Texas and feels he has gone well in similar tracksin the past, such as at Abu Dhabi, which was also a big, wide, open circuit.
“I generallylearn tracks quickly,” he said. “Wherever we go we hope to be competitive, butin any case I’ll enjoy it. It will be a great experience and we’ve all beenracing in Australia for so many years it’s rare to learn a new track.”