Davison surprised with maiden Bathurst pole
Will Davison admits he was surprised that rival Jamie Whincup was unable to knock his Trading Post FPR Falcon from the top of the time sheets in the dying seconds of the Top 10 Shootout for pole position at Bathurst.
Davison scored his maiden Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 pole after setting what would prove to be an unbeatable 2:08.07s lap as the sixth car out in the one-at-a-time session.
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Whincup, the fastest qualifier on Friday afternoon, emerged from Forrest’s Elbow 0.0002s quicker than Davison’s time, leaving the factory Ford driver sceptical of the final result.
“I was thinking that Jamie was going to do a 7.8,” said Davison of his thoughts as the TeamVodafone Holden driver entered the final corner, before Whincup’s 2:08.10s time flashed up on the screens.
“He’s been really fast in the last sector all weekend, so when we were pretty much even to the second sector I thought that if I prepared myself (for Whincup to score pole) instead of getting my hopes up I wouldn’t be as let down.
“The Shootout doesn’t mean anything for tomorrow, but you’d be kidding if you said it wasn’t something that we all wanted to achieve. A pole position here is a pretty cool moment.”
He added of his own lap: “(They were) pretty tricky track conditions, so it was a tricky lap. To be honest the track didn’t have that good grip. I was just trying to monitor everyone else from the start of the Shootout, but once your car is in pitlane you can’t touch it.
“We actually gambled on the track being a lot faster than that so my car was quite ‘on the nose’, quite loose in the rear. But that’s probably better than the other way of it understeering.
“I pushed hard and had a few big moments so it wasn’t the tidiest of laps but I think everyone was in the same boat there just trying to get that one lap right. It’s very hard to know what the conditions are.”
Davison said he was amused by the level of reaction from within his FPR garage, particularly from his race engineer Grant McPherson.
“The guy who has been saying it (pole) doesn’t mean anything all weekend was my engineer and I think he busted an ear drum he was screaming so loud,” smiled Davison.
“That’s really cool to see the reaction from the team and the crowd. I was hoping to blue fans would be roaring when the final car crossed the line and they were so it was great.”
Turning his attention to the race, Davison says the key to scoring his second Bathurst victory will be the team’s ability to think on its feet.
“We’ve all got our basic race plan but I can’t remember the last time we had a basic Bathurst 1000,” he said.
“We’ve got 10 different (strategy) scenarios depending on what gets thrown at us with Safety Cars and weather and all sorts of things that we’ve got to take into account.
“Now that we know where we’re starting we’ll really do our homework tonight and nut out the race tomorrow.
“The key is to think on your feet during the day and be a step ahead of whatever is happening on track so you make the right calls.
“From our perspective we’ve done all the work to get our car the best we possibly can and now we’ll have to wait and see what the track’s like tomorrow.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re quick at the end of the race so obviously it’s all about sorting out your tyres, saving your best ones for the end and then racing it out.
“Obviously you can’t have any errors from the drivers or in the pitstops, you need to get all those things right.
“I’ve had some highs and lows at this place so we’ll just give it our best shot tomorrow and see where we end up.”
FPR will not decide whether Davison or co-driver Jonny McIntyre will start the car from pole until the morning.
See below for Speedcafe.com’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Race Guide.