Davison 'thriving' under pressure from critics

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 03/09/2021
  • By Charlie Bullis

Will Davison says he is "loving" the pressure he is under in his first season back with the Shell V-Power Racing Team.

Davison and De Pasquale joined the championship-winning team in a new-look 2021 driver line-up.

The 39-year-old Davison has so far outraced his younger teammate, scoring eight podiums to De Pasquale's seven.

De Pasquale, however, scored the team's sole win of the season at Tailem Bend in May.

Both drivers have been under the microscope, having replaced three-time Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard.

Honoured with the team's iconic #17, Davison came out swinging at the Bathurst season-opener, finishing third in Race 1.

However, despite his consistency and speed - exemplified by two poles in Darwin - Davison is still searching for his first win of 2021.

Regardless, Davison said he remains as motivated as ever to silence the critics.

"I’m loving the year, absolutely thriving on just being back with an organisation that’s been so successful," the 19-time race winner said.

"Such amazing people in the team.

"The pressure is on. I’m loving it. We’ve got some tough critics out there and taskmasters.

"We’re here to win... we’re pretty happy with our year to date.

"Two new drivers, a little bit of an upheaval at the team but the core of the team is unchanged and it’s a pleasure to be a part of.

"We’re pushing to take that next step, but we’ve certainly ticked quite a few boxes already.

"We just need to find a bit more and that’s no doubt going to come."

Davison sits fifth in the standings, 259 points ahead of De Pasquale, who has been struck down by poor reliability and accidents.

Red Bull Ampol Racing is the runaway force this season, with Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup combining for 12 wins.

Mark Skaife believes the absence of McLaughlin may have exposed the Ford squad, but believes Davison and De Pasquale are performing strongly.

With both drivers becoming more at home in their Mustangs, Davison believes he and De Pasquale will shine in the second half of the season.

"It’s all relative, isn’t it. Most teams out there would be envious to have the results Anton and I have had," Davison said.

"We’ve had 15 podiums between us and plenty of pole positions.

"We’re right there, weekend in weekend out, but naturally wins are what is expected for us and we feel that.

"We are consistent, we’re right there no matter what, our bad days are right there.

"Naturally winning is what we are after, but that doesn’t just come for free in this game as we all know.

"We are up against some fierce opposition, particularly the Triple Eight guys and Cam [Waters] and Chaz [Mostert] that have got quite a lot of continuity with their teams.

"We’re pretty happy with what we’re doing.

"It’s not easy, there’s no magic or silver bullet, just that innate understanding of each other in the team and what makes it tick in relatively short amounts of time, and in the pressure cooker of qualifying sessions.

"The car is great, it's just a few times in race trim we’ve just needed a little bit more and I need a bit better understanding of the car without making mistakes."

Davison will resume his 2021 campaign at Winton across October 2-3.

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