Team Sydney recruit Alex Davison says he’s still got what it takes to be a front-runner in Supercars despite being the oldest driver on the grid.
Davison made a surprise return at the ill-fated Melbourne 400 for Team Sydney, making a last-minute call to take a full-time drive for the remainder of the 2020 season.
That opportunity came after James Courtney contested the season-opening Adelaide 500 before deciding to walk away from the team.
Davison’s return to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship dethrones Irwin Racing driver Mark Winterbottom, 38, as the oldest driver in the field.
Now 40 years old, Davison hasn’t had a full-time Supercars drive in over half a decade.
In recent years he’s driven as a Supercars co-driver, often alongside brother Will Davison as well as contesting domestic and international sports car races.
“I still feel the word forty is a bit of a taboo or the number 40 is a bit of a taboo number in the Supercars paddock,” Davison told Speedcafe.com.
“But in the end, we’re not AFL players and we haven’t been beating our bodies up since our teenage years, so I don’t feel any different than I did 20 years ago when I’m in the car.
“I still feel I’ve got something to offer and yes, it probably doesn’t help. You don’t get faster while you’re sitting on the couch. So I’ve got some catching up to do.
“But if I didn’t think I was still capable of performing well, even if it’s a little down track, once we get things together a little bit, for sure I wouldn’t do this.”
Davison’s return to the championship bucks the trend of bringing fresh-faced drivers to the championship. This year alone the championship has added four rookies.
Matt Stone Racing duo Jake Kostecki and Zane Goddard, Bryce Fullwood of Walkinshaw Andretti United, and Brad Jones Racing driver Jack Smith are Supercars freshmen in 2020.
“I won’t say only in Australia – but it’s particularly strong in Australia – that need from the teams to have young 20-year-olds driving cars,” said Davison.
“In most of the other major championships, there’s plenty of guys well in their forties still racing at the top level.”
Davison said he’s intrigued to see how the next few years pan out as Jamie Whincup, Lee Holdsworth, Rick Kelly, Fabian Coulthard, Will Davison and Winterbottom approach the 40-year-old age bracket.
However, he doesn’t envisage the drivers suddenly disappearing just because they are getting older.
“A lot of the top guys in Supercars now are getting to their late thirties,” he said.
“It’s going to be interesting to see what happens because I don’t see all of them all of a sudden packing up and going home just because they get near 40 in the next couple of years.
“So it’s going to be an interesting time for sure.”