Veteran Will Davison hopes the longest podium drought of his Supercars career may soon be at an end.
It’s been 67 races since Davison last climbed the rostrum; when he won the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 alongside Jonathon Webb at Tekno Autosports in October 2016.
After a trying final year at Tekno in 2017, Davison moved to the start-up 23Red Racing last year, scoring a best race result of seventh with the standalone squad.
23Red’s move to Tickford Racing, and the introduction of the Mustang, has resulted in a fast start to 2019 with the 36-year-old among the frontrunners.
He finished fourth and eighth at the Adelaide season opener, from seventh and fifth on the grid, to sit fourth in the championship.
Qualifying results of fourth and sixth on Thursday evening at Albert Park has the Gold Coast-based driver raising his expectations.
“To be competitive again here after Adelaide is great, and you instantly become a bit disappointed with sixth or seventh,” Davison told Supercars.com.
“It takes a little while to get back to that mentality and psyche again. I used to have it, I would be shattered with podiums back in the day. I’m building back to that.
“We’ve got to be consistently there and thereabouts, grab some top fives and then start searching for podiums and wins.
“I think we’re getting closer, we’re getting a sniff of [the [podium], so obviously soon I’m going to be disappointed if we’re not there.
“We’re still building towards it and getting close, and I don’t like fluking a big result, I like to understand how we’ve got there and why we’re there.
“Hopefully soon we’ll be getting that long-awaited podium, which is obviously something we’re super, super keen for.
“It’s what it’s all about at the end of the day and I can’t wait to give Phil [Munday, team owner] that result.”
Davison's last podium came at Bathurst in 2016
The ups and downs of Davison’s career are typified by recent championship results; his fifth in the 2016 standings sitting between a 14th and a trio of 15ths.
While he admits to enduring some tough moments, the two-time Bathurst winner says he’s never lost confidence in his ability to be a frontrunner.
“You’ve just got to remind yourself not to lose faith in your ability,” he said.
“I generally haven’t over the years, I’ve been up and down and around and round, so I’ve learnt not to lose faith in myself.
“But the psyche of going racing and when you’re getting beaten around the ears, you can get a bit down and out and wonder what’s going on.
“You doubt yourself, you try harder, you try more things and you lose your natural way.
“When you get quicker, you relax more, have more faith in everything and are just in a better headspace.
“I’ve never lost confidence in myself, I just know now I’ve got the right environment and the right crew and everything around us as a team.
“I know I can do the job, I’ve proven that many years in this sport, and I’m pretty motivated to get the runs on the board.”