'You can get a net gain': Could tests turn 2024 season?

31 May
Triple Eight set the pace in the opening stages of the season, but WAU roared back into form in Perth after a test day
  • Nine of 11 teams have now completed second test days

  • Several teams tested this week ahead of Darwin

  • Will Davison says teams can "get a net gain"

The break between Perth and Darwin could play a role in shifting momentum in the 2024 Repco Supercars Championship, with teams hitting the track in testing.

Red Bull Ampol Racing has set the pace in the opening stages of the season, but Walkinshaw Andretti United roared back into form in Perth.

WAU tested before the Perth round, and it paid immediate dividends as Chaz Mostert crossed the line first in both races, with the team locking out the Saturday front row.

Before New Zealand, Erebus Motorsport ran Brodie Kostecki as he prepared for his Supercars comeback.

This week alone, Dick Johnson Racing, Matt Stone Racing and PremiAir Racing tested at Queensland Raceway, while Tickford Racing, Penrite Racing, Team 18 and Blanchard Racing Team tested at Winton Motor Raceway.

2024 2 7 Test DJ-06

That leaves Triple Eight and Brad Jones Racing yet to pull the trigger on their second test days of the year, although both teams were in action on Tuesday, running wildcard and rookie tests respectively. Will Brown completed category testing in a 2023 Triple Eight car, and also got laps in a PremiAir Nulon Camaro.

Will Davison, who tested with the Shell V-Power Racing Team on Tuesday, said a strong test day could translate into strong results — but only if you have a strong test day, something DJR enjoyed this week.

“I don't think it's necessarily a given if you test,” Davison told Supercars.com.

"I think you've got to be very, very prepared, have a very strict plan, and you've got to execute that plan for it to come to fruition. Test days are only what you make of them.

“At times, they can be beneficial. At other times, they can lead you down the garden path as well.”

Mid-season testing saw an upswing in form for Davison’s DJR squad last year, which after an early-season slump, rebounded with a podium in Darwin and victory in Townsville in a season plagued by parity chatter.

davison test may 1

Having seen WAU power into life after its test, Davison is hoping his team could do the same — and if other teams also find pace, the pecking order could jumble once again.

"Many times over the years you see people test and they come out with a whole bunch of new ideas, but it can end up working the opposite way.

“If you're very particular and thorough, you can get a net gain, which it seems like obviously the Walkinshaw guys had in Perth.

“Looking at that, we're hoping we can do the same. You never go to the next race expecting to strike gold, but this test, I think everything made a lot of sense.

"So hopefully that just gives us a few more little tools in our box and a few little ideas to help overcome some of our deficiencies.”

Davison and teammate Anton De Pasquale are seventh and eighth in the drivers’ points, and DJR fifth in teams, heading to the betr Darwin Triple Crown on June 14-16. Tickets for the event are on sale now. International viewers can follow all the action on Superview.

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