Shell V-Power Racing Team’s decision to recruit Will Davison continued to pay dividends at the OTR SuperSprint.
Davison has shaped as a silent assassin in the 2021 title fight; through the opening four rounds, only series leader Shane van Gisbergen has claimed more podiums.
The Tailem Bend weekend was a defining weekend for the Shell squad, which welcomed back team boss Ryan Story.
However, while Anton De Pasquale’s historic Race 10 win stole most of the limelight, Davison’s continued consistency saw the two-time Bathurst winner climb to fourth in the standings.
WATCH: RACE 11 RECAP
Davison is just 61 points adrift of second-placed Jamie Whincup, and five points down on Chaz Mostert.
To prove Davison’s consistency, the 19-time race winner is one of just four drivers, along with De Pasquale, Cameron Waters and Mostert, to qualify in the top 10 for all races so far this season.
If he wasn’t forced into the lane to remove grass following an incident with Nick Percat in the Sandown opener, Davison would have finished in the top 10 in every race so far.
For Davison, it was another weekend of proof of the hard work in Stapylton.
“Since the first event, we’ve all done pretty well with the adaption we’ve all had to make,” said Davison, who matched Peter Brock on 212 round starts.
“The cars are all different, new relationships, limited testing… to be honest, we’ve just been carrying on our trend.
“We’ve been strong at points in every single weekend this year; we were confident coming here, obviously the team has a good handle on this circuit.
“But we’re different drivers. You never just bolt in what was last year, things are always changing.
WATCH: RACE 10 RECAP
“Just been a process, understanding each other bit by bit, getting used to the car.”
De Pasquale’s win marked the first victory by a Shell Ford since last September.
While the 25-year-old was tipped to be Scott McLaughlin’s successor, it has been the older head on Davison’s shoulders which has kept the #17 as the lead red and yellow Mustang.
Notably, De Pasquale crashed out of the first race of the season in Bathurst, a race Davison managed to climb onto the podium.
While Sandown didn’t go to plan for the team, the Shell Fords bounced back in Tasmania, with the two drivers scoring two podiums each.
The only thing missing is a Davison victory, which hasn’t happened since Bathurst 2016; a run of 135 races.
Pleased his relationship with De Pasquale is helping drive the team forward, Davison is eyeing a return to the winners’ circle for the first time in five years.
“We’ve got through these first four now with a good haul of points, which was my goal,” he said.
“Hopefully we can just keep this trend going, and keep getting stronger.
“What we need to challenge these guys here is about how we work together, and how the engineering group works together.
“Enjoying teaming up with him, and pushing each other. I was really happy for him to get a win.
“Stoked for the team to get a one-two; there’s been a lot of change.
“I’m very proud to be in the 17 and in the team. Hopefully I can get myself a top spot soon.”
The Repco Supercars Championship field will return to Victoria for the Winton SuperSprint across May 29-30. Tickets are available here.
The event will be broadcast live on Foxtel and will be streamed on Kayo with highlights on 7 and 7 Plus.