Davison amped for one last Whincup scrap

Will Davison is chased by Jamie Whincup at the Mount Panorama 500

Will Davison is back in a championship-contending seat for the first time in years and there’s no way he’d rather have it than to be duking it out with childhood mate Jamie Whincup.

It’s been a relatively bumpy road for Davison since his tenures at the respective Holden and Ford factory teams in the 2009-’13 period.

He spent two difficult years in Erebus Motorsport’s struggling Mercedes package, then was along for the ride as Tekno Autosports declined – even if that partnership netted a Bathurst 1000 win – and then was bumped out of a seat at Tickford/23Red Racing mid-last year.

But the Gold Coaster vowed to never give in and rebounded from the brink to snare a drive at the title-winning Dick Johnson Racing outfit aboard its fabled #17 Ford.

It gives him one last chance to go toe-to-toe with Whincup, just as he did in a tight 2009 battle for the crown that ultimately went in the latter’s favour.

Whincup announced last month this would be his final season before moving into the role of managing director and team principal at Triple Eight.

It has to be said the duo were a tad circumspect at the season-opening Repco Mount Panorama 500 last month, emerging fourth and fifth in the standings with Davison ahead.

That came as Davison took a cautious approach to his first race weekend for DJR since 2008 – although still scoring a podium – while Whincup simply struggled for his usual turn of speed.

Nonetheless, the two old dogs are expected to feature as the season goes on, a prospect Davison is excited for.

“I’d hate to have got back in like this and him not be out there,” he told Speedcafe.com.

“Obviously an opportunity like this I wasn’t sure if I would get again, so I’m going to be doing whatever I have got to do to try to get results and hopefully I can be up there with those guys.

“They obviously set a very high level, a very high standard and Jamie, possibly his results are the greatest we have seen in our sport so you want to try to beat him.

“At the end of the day I want to try to knock him off and he’ll be trying to win his last championship and I’m trying to hold what Scotty has been doing.

“But hey, that’s what racing is all about. It’s going to be really fun, it’s going to be intense.”

Davison said he was happy for Whincup to have made the retirement call on his terms.

“He’s had a pretty huge innings. He has achieved everything there possibly is to achieve and that next opportunity for him is a really exciting one,” added Davison.

“The only thing is it’s weird – where has the time gone? Because to me, when you’re in the heat of the battle, I can still see myself there sitting in a go-kart next to him as a 15-year-old on the grid, or our first start in a V8.

“You still carry that same hunger and desire and motivation to every race and I think we can both be proud of that.

“After so many years it’s a long old slog if you like but it’s a pretty privileged thing to do, and for him to be able to go out on his terms, what a dream come true.”

Supercars will next hit the track at Sandown for a SuperSprint event across March 20-21.

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