DJR confident Davison win is close

Will Davison headed Shane van Gisbergen in Race 21 before an electrical issue fully played out

The Shell V-Power Racing Team is confident that Will Davison is on the cusp of a drought-breaking win after yet more heartbreak at the Bunnings Trade Sydney SuperNight.

Davison was leading Race 21 of the Repco Supercars Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park when a CAN bus issue manifested itself, taking out the #17 Mustang’s dashboard.

That required a power cycle during his compulsory pit stop, and ultimately cost him a position to eventual race winner Shane van Gisbergen.

Davison went on to finish second, for the fourth time this season, extending an already five-year wait since his 19th career race win, in the 2016 Bathurst 1000.

“He is going really well, and like I said the other day, it’s around the corner,” Dick Johnson Racing team principal Ben Croke told Speedcafe.com.

“[I don’t know] Which corner…” he quipped, “But no, it’s coming.”

Davison has twice qualified on pole this year and would go on to finish second in both of those races at Hidden Valley after being jumped by van Gisbergen each time the lights went out.

It was back at The Bend in 2019 where a more likely win was snatched from his grasp, when an airbox issue caused the 23Red Mustang he was piloting at the time to cough in pit lane.

Davison noted the parallel in the immediate aftermath of Race 21 in Sydney, and it was indeed only a sluggish transit that cost him again.

DJR opted for a four-tyre stop versus Triple Eight Race Engineering’s three for van Gisbergen, who had followed #17 into the lane, but Croke confirmed that was pre-planned and not simply a reaction to cover the power cycle.

What was in fact decisive was the margin for error that the veteran had to leave for the pit lane speed limit given he did not know how fast he was going.

He and van Gisbergen were almost three seconds apart just prior to pitting, yet the Triple Eight driver appeared to have to resist the urge to try and overtake in the lane.

Car #97 was then quick enough to the drop such that Davison had to file in behind, after which time he would shadow the championship leader virtually all the way to the chequered flag.

“We had a three-second lead over Shane and with the dramas coming into pit lane, he had to be safe and he didn’t know his speed and stuff like that,” explained Croke.

“Shane just drove right up to the back of him; they did three [tyres], we did four; three’s a fraction quicker, and Will had to turn the car off and restart.

“There was a lot going on there and ultimately Shane got out in front of us, so yeah, it cost us a race win.”

Davison would go on to finish fifth in the last race of the weekend.

Speaking on the final wash-up from the first event at SMP, he said, “Obviously very disappointed with [Sunday’s] first race; we put everything into that one and got a good start and we somewhat had it in the bag.

“I’m pretty gutted to have an electrical issue that you just never have so the timing couldn’t have been worse, but that’s motorsport.

“The missed opportunity hurts a lot, but that’s a good thing because I am really hungry to get that win.”

While the win is still elusive, Davison has 14 top five finishes and 19 top 10s in 22 races so far in his first year back at DJR.

The second placing in Race 21 in fact moved the 39-year-old up to third in the championship, where he remains ahead of this weekend’s Armor All Sydney SuperNight, which begins on Saturday.

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