Davison Looking for Luck at Wilson Security Sandown 500
Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
By V8 Supercars
Will Davison is praying the Sandown curse will not haunt him tomorrow after he, and co-driver Steve Owen, set up the perfect showdown for the Wilson Security Sandown 500 in Melbourne.
Davison has been dogged by bad luck at Sandown, the same circuit his grandfather died at in 1965, throughout his career from similar positions.
Now with ARMOR ALL Pole Position wrapped up Pepsi Max Crew's Davison wants to put history behind him in his Ford Falcon for the start of the PIRTEK Enduro Cup.
"I'd love to say I'm super confident but I think in this sport, you can never be too cocky or too confident and the enduros always through curve balls," Davison said.
"They (endurance races) have been pretty cruel to me the past couple of years but I don't feel I did anything too wrong last year, so all you can do is what's in your control.
"These races scare the hell out of me but I love the challenge of it, it is part of this Championship – but yeah they scare me, they're crazy, some of the things that can go wrong.
"It's about time I had a good run, it doesn't come down to that unfortunately. You have to earn it so we will have to see how we go. I feel confident we certainly will be in the battle and in with a good shot."
Davison is still to ink a deal on his driving future with FPR in the Ford. When asked if victory tomorrow might make the difference in his contract talks, or with Ford, he was coy.
"I wouldn't say tomorrow's results are going to put my career on the line or not, I don't think I really need to prove myself but hopefully we are close to a deal anyway," he said.
"We have a great relationship with the team, everything is rosy – it doesn't come down to tomorrow's result that's for sure. All chats are progressing well and fingers crossed that things tidy up soon."
Davison will be wary of the forces both beside, and behind him. Best mate Jamie Whincup will be on his left and Craig Lowndes behind him along with FPR teammate Mark Winterbottom.
But it could well be that all four are watching from the garage at the start with co-drivers Owen, Warren Luff, Paul Dumbrell and Steven Richards likely starters, although with four compulsory pit stops required some teams might decide on a different strategy.
Lowndes is the clear favourite given his record at this time of year.
"It is a great time, racing is fierce and fast, we are all unsure what's going to happen tomorrow, 500 kilometres is further than what we have ever raced these cars," said Lowndes.
"The challenges are all in front of us and it all comes down to team work, strategy, making sure we stay out of trouble and as I said you saw a lot of carnage out there over those two races.
"Hopefully we all get through the first couple of laps, cleanly smoothly and sit down and work out our strategy, obviously doing the minimum of four pit stops has definitely changed our strategy, we believe we could have gotten through on three."
Davison's ARMOR ALL Pole Position was much thanks to a great drive from Owen in the first qualifying race, won by Dumbrell in the Red Bull Racing Australia Holden Commodore. Davison got the jump on Whincup at the start of the second qualifying race and was not headed.
Plenty unfolded in the 20-lap second race as Garth Tander, starting from fourth, did not get off the line. Cars fanned out on track to get around the stranded Commodore.
An incident followed at turn one, seeing Maro Engel's Mercedes and Dean Fiore's Commodore turned around and off track.
The practice lap record had continually been lowered at the Wilson Security Sandown 500, and the race lap record was again broken with nine cars going quicker – and Davison amazingly recording a 1min09.4118 17 laps into the race.
A battle ensued between Chaz Mostert and Winterbottom in the closing laps – and while the young gun held his own, a determined Frosty got by to claim fourth.
The top 10 was rounded out by Reynolds in sixth, Courtney, Slade, McLaughlin and Todd Kelly.
In the first race Whincup qualified the car in the number one spot for the co-driver race, and that is where he started.
The 'international' drivers had a tough day, with Ryan Briscoe (66) turned around after contact with Chris Pither (21), and Jeroen Bleekemolen (97) stationary after an issue with the car.