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Davison: Phoenix Bathurst 12 Hour ride to open doors

Gordon Lomas

Saturday 16th January, 2016 - 5:00am

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Alex Davison hopes the prize drive of the Phoenix Audi will be a springboard to other opportunities

Alex Davison hopes the prize drive of the Phoenix Audi will be a springboard to other opportunities

Alex Davison is banking on his surprise Phoenix Audi seat in the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour providing the catalyst to revitalise his career.

Given the go-ahead by the German factory squad to announce his seat in the Audi R8 LMS to co-incide with the release of the official entry list, Davison finds himself in one of the highly fancied Class A cars in the field.

Davison’s opportunities in the last two seasons have seen him largely restricted to co-driving duties in the V8 Supercars Pirtek Enduro Cup where last year he shined as one of the quickest co-drivers at Sandown and the Gold Coast.

The Phoenix drive signals the first time Davison will be behind the wheel of a GT3 machine in the once-around-the-clock test.

“I haven’t done the event in a Class A car before and I missed out on a seat last year so to be lucky enough to be selected in easily one of the leading cars in the field was a great start to the year,” Davison told Speedcafe.com.

Davison is no stranger to Phoenix, having run with the squad in German Carrera Cup more than 10 years ago.

“It will be a lot of fun teaming up with Phoenix again. A lot of the same guys are running the team.

“Hopefully doing the 12 Hour in the Audi could open some doors for the future.”

Davison performed excellently when he co-drove with brother Will in the Erebus Mercedes in the V8 Supercars enduros last year

Davison performed excellently when he co-drove with brother Will in the Erebus Mercedes in the V8 Supercars enduros last year

Phoenix is yet to formally announce the identity of its two other drivers as the team returns to avenge its second place last year with its lead car driven by the rapid Laurens Vanthoor, Markus Winkelhock and Marco Mapelli.

Davison says the first task will be determining where the maximum grip level is of the Audi which sports significantly higher downforce than a V8 Supercar.

“There will be some work to do to get adapted to the car quickly in the time available,” Davison said.

“There is no chance to test the car obviously but from what I’ve heard they are relatively user-friendly cars.

“You have to learn a new limit. The aero grip is a lot higher than a V8 Supercar so it’s a matter of building up to that new limit.

“It’s not like I’ll have the pressure to qualify the car so as long as I’ve got the lap times down and I’m on the pace by the time we get to the race that’s the main thing.”

The balance of Davison’s season remains a work in progress however he has indicated that he could be back in the Australian Porsche Carrera Cup ranks.

“I’m working hard on a Carrera Cup deal,” he said.

“There is a good chance I will start the season in Carrera Cup but we are still trying to finalise a full budget.

“And I’d love to do some Australian GT stuff should the opportunity arise but that opportunity hasn’t arisen yet.”

“But the 12 Hour is certainly a fantastic opportunity and I’m really looking forward to hitting Bathurst in a GT3 car.

“Being in a car and team that will certainly be in contention for the win.”

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