The potential for a strong performance in the Bathurst 12 Hour to open opportunities overseas is an exciting prospect for the Supercars drivers in the field, says Will Davison.
A two-time Bathurst 1000 winner, Davison has been drafted into the factory-backed WRT Audi squad for his fifth start in the GT3 classic.
Davison, who brings important local knowledge to the Belgian team in its first Bathurst campaign, secured the drive through long-time friend Mathias Lauda.
Former Formula 1 driver Pedro Lamy and experienced amateur Paul Dalla Lana complete the car’s driving crew.
Davison is one of 11 full-time Supercars drivers in this year’s field and, while committed to his future in Australia, has long coveted one-off drives in some of the world’s big GT races.
Shane van Gisbergen and Chaz Mostert have previously used the 12 Hour to impress McLaren and BMW respectively, which led to factory contracts to race in Europe and Asia.
A portion of the star-studded Bathurst grid
“It’s a massive event to be a part of and it’s exciting to be joining a team like WRT, a factory Audi team,” said Davison during preparations for tomorrow’s opening practice.
“We have less experience in the cars [than the international GT drivers] and more on the track. Generally we can be quite competitive in this race.
“It’s great for us drivers to get this opportunity and hopefully down the line it will help us tick off some of the other races we all want to do somewhere else in the world.”
Davison admits that the 12 Hour event requires a significantly different approach from the flat-out Supercars contests.
He missed the start of last year's race after rookie co-driver Ben Barnicoat crashed their McLaren heavily in qualifying.
“It’s a pretty different style of racing, dealing with massive variation in speed, different classes, lots of traffic,” he said.
“There’s a fine line between being aggressive in the traffic here, racing hard, and being smart.
“Experience pays for a lot here, picking your moments when to attack and when to conserve and keep the car straight.
“It’s much easier said than done and very few people can get through a 12 Hour race without an error.
“That’s our goal, playing that risk versus reward balance and tempering your aggression.”