Davo: more carnage to come

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 09/04/2015
  • By V8 Supercars

Ultra-close V8 Supercar qualifying and shorter races means controversial first lap clashes like the one that took Will Davison out in Tasmania will be repeated at upcoming Supersprint events, the Erebus Motorsport V8 star has predicted.

Davison's Solar Australia Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG was spun at Turn 4 by the Holden Racing Team's James Courtney on the opening lap of Race 4 at Symmons Plains in what was ruled to be a racing incident.

But Davison believes more penalties are bound to be doled out by officialdom because drivers are on the limit in the opening laps now and pushing harder will trigger incidents.

"It's (60km races) going to make the first lap stuff more and more desperate because of the need for great starts and capitalising on first laps," the 2009 Bathurst 1000 champion said.

"But having said that I don't think there is much else different you can do within the rules. But that is not going to stop people trying.

"And that is simply going to mean more people being turfed out, because everyone is on the limit on first laps now. There is only so much you can do."

The Tyrepower-backed Tassie V8 Supercars event was the first outing for the new Supersprint format which now features 60km rather than 100km races on the Saturday, followed by the traditional 200km double points race on Sunday.

With the field separated by less than one second in both Saturday races at Symmons Plains, intense racing was inevitable on the opening laps at a circuit where passing is difficult.

Ironically, Davison also suffered bent steering on the first lap of Sunday's longer race after being hit by Team Darrell Lea STIX Holden Commodore driver Shane van Gisbergen, who was trying to avoid a spinning David Reynolds (Bottle-O) at Turn 2.

The incidents meant Davison emerged from the meeting with a seventh place and 21st in the championship to show for his consistent front-running qualifying speed. There is no doubt the setbacks left Davison frustrated - as evidenced when the television cameras caught him remonstrating with Courtney after Race 4 - and calling for more commonsense from some of his rivals.

"All the years I have been in the sport I have never seen anyone cruising on the first laps - that's the time of the race when it is on for young and old," Davison told v8supercars.com.au.

"But I am always of the opinion you have to capitalise when you can, but you have got to end the first lap with straight steering and not your bonnet over your windscreen.

"But there are certain people who don't seem to learn that and have massive contact on lap one and spend the rest of the race with wounded cars. There are certain people who will never learn and it's hard when you are on the wrong end of that."

Davison said the intensity of V8 Supercars racing was continuing to spiral and that put pressure on drivers and teams and contributed to rash driving behaviour.

"There are a lot of drivers who have been on the circuit for a long time and you have got a lot of young kids who are seen as rookies who have been in development series for four years so they are not really rookies; they have been in these type of cars, they know the circuits so they are pretty dialled in as well," he said.

"Then you have got a lot of the engineers and the teams, who are now running a lot of customer equipment. They have all been to a few teams, so they have good information. The engines are all highly developed and the set-ups are right up there.

"So trying to find an edge is tough and you are getting frustrated drivers who have pressure on them and teams that have pressure on them. They might find themselves 10th or 15th and in their own head they believe they should be further up ... So you have got a lot of people who are probably getting a little desperate and making poorer decisions and trying more of the so-called questionable moves."

Davison said his televised altercation with Courtney gave fans an idea of the intensity of the rivalry between drivers battling in a high pressure environment.

"That tension is always there in the pitlane and that frustration with other drivers is always there as well," he explained. "Whether you see it on camera blasting into their face or not doesn't all of sudden change anything.

"Maybe it reminds the outside person, but people don't quite really realise how full-on it is out there, how on the limit you are and how close you are to that stuff happening all the time."

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