Tekno plots upgrades for title challenge
Tekno Autosports owner Jonathon Webb has vowed that his team will do what it takes this season to ensure Will Davison can fight for the V8 Supercars title.
Davison heads into today’s sixth race of the season at Phillip Island with the points lead following victory two weeks ago at Symmons Plains.
Whether the single-car customer team can challenge the likes of Triple Eight over the season remains a major question following up and down form in recent years with driver Shane van Gisbergen.
The Kiwi has graduated to Triple Eight’s Red Bull outfit this year and says he was surprised by the extent of the differences between the cars.
In a bid to ensure its competitiveness, Tekno is expected to introduce newer Triple Eight front-end components over the coming races.
Although non-committal on his squad’s upgrade plan, Webb says that his team will “absolutely” invest where it needs to in order to give Davison a run at the title.
“Whether we’re first or last in the championship I always do my best to make sure we’ve got the best car,” Webb told Speedcafe.com.
“We always keep our eyes and ears open with what Triple Eight are up to and what they’re doing.
“They’ve done multiple versions (of their front-end) over the last couple of years and sometimes we’ve followed and sometimes we haven’t.
“But it hasn’t really hurt us. We’ve won plenty of races with Shane and have come out strong this year with Will.”
Encouraged by his start to the year, Davison told Speedcafe.com that he is optimistic about the squad’s potential and the upgrades ahead.
“We’re certainly not identical to them (Triple Eight) at this stage, but we’ve got a good package and we’re getting closer and closer to their spec, so there’s no real reason we can’t run with them,” said Davison.
“It’s probably good too because I’m still learning this car and they’re moving away a little bit from their known quantities.
“So before I get too at home with it it’s probably a good time to be making some of these changes.”
Davison admits that this weekend’s flowing, high speed venue could show up the weaknesses in Tekno’s equipment, but stresses that there’ll be more cars in the fight than just those from T8.
The Volvos and Nissans have shown an affinity for the circuit, while the Prodrive and DJR Team Penske Fords have combined for all five pole positions of the year to date.
“This weekend is going to be an interesting challenge because there’s going to be a lot more quick cars here compared to Tassie,” he said.
“So it’s not going to be as simple as Symmons, where we were very good.”
Davison ended Friday practice fifth fastest, the second quickest Commodore behind that of van Gisbergen.
Webb meanwhile has confirmed that his team has no plans to replace former manager Steve Hallam, who made a sudden departure from the squad prior to Easter.
Hallam’s duties have been shared between Webb, engineer Geoff Slater, crew chief Steve Greer and the Tekno group’s business development manager, Chris McCormack.
“In Tassie everything went to plan and between the four of us we were able to cover the role that Steve left,” said Webb.
“It’s been the same in the workshop and, obviously it’s only our second week into it, but we feel that we won’t directly replace his position.
“We’re all just stepping up, working harder and getting it done.”
McCormack joined Tekno this year as the business expanded to include a three-car McLaren Australian GT operation, which Webb admits stretched the squad’s resources.
“I’ve known him for a long time, mainly through driver training and other bits and pieces,” said Webb of McCormack.
“He’s a little bit green to motorsport but he knows and understands my business.
“We haven’t put a title on him, but he’s working as my right-hand man to keep an eye on what’s going on.”