Feature Mark Walker June 4, 2022 (Comments off) (315)

Will Davison Joins the 500 Club

THE first race the upcoming Darwin Triple Crown will be Will Davison’s 500th Championship start in Supercars’ premiere series.

With a top tier career dating back to 2004, Davison will be the tenth member of the exclusive 500 club, alongside Craig Lowndes, Garth Tander, Russell Ingall, Rick Kelly, Jason Bright, Mark Winterbottom, Jamie Whincup, Todd Kelly and James Courtney.

Along the journey, Davison has claimed a total of 20 Championship race wins, and 70 podiums, a mark that has him sit tenth on the all-time podium list, one appearance behind Chaz Mostert.

Davison has won the Bathurst 1000 twice, in 2009 with Garth Tander, and in 2016 alongside Jonathon Webb, while he has finished six times within the top five of the end of season standings, with highlights being second in 2009, and third in 2013.

From humble beginnings at Team Dynamik, Davison has tasted success with a wide variety of teams, including Dick Johnson Racing, the Holden Racing Team, Ford Performance Racing, Erebus Motorsport, Tekno Autosports, 23Red Racing, and Tickford Racing, before he returned to his current home at DJR.

Uniquely, Davison has been a Supercars race winner aboard Holdens, Fords and an AMG Mercedes.

Through the Years

In the Beginning…

After winning the Victorian Formula Ford championship in 2000, Davison focussed on the Australian title the next year. Against a stacked field that featured future Indycar drivers Will Power and Marcus Marshall, plus Supercars champions Jamie Whincup and Mark Winterbottom, Davison won the title with nine wins and 14 podiums from 15 races. After sampling international competition at the 2001 Formula Ford Festival, Davison campaigned in the 2002 Formula Renault 2.0 UK series, then the 2003-’04 British Formula 3 Championship. A career highlight came when he tested for Minardi F1 in 2004. Later, Davison represented Team Australia in the 2005-’06 A1GP season, with his ten races netting best results of sixth at Estoril and Eastern Creek.

Elsewhere in Australia, Davison has campaigned in a range of disciplines, including the Australian GT Championship dating back to 2007, the Bathurst 12 Hour with Mercedes AMG, McLaren and Audi, with a best finish of third in 2014, the 2001 Bathurst Showroom Showdown in a VW Beetle, plus the 2022 Bathurst Six Hour in a BMW.


Davison returned to Australia to take on a limited campaign in a third Team Dynamik entry, fulfilling the obligations of the Mike Imrie owned charter. His first event was at Winton, followed by Oran Park, and the enduros at Sandown and Bathurst, where he lined up alongside Dale Brede.


Initially signed on to drive for Team Dynamik, the arrangement unravelled after the season-opening Australian Grand Prix meet, as Tony Longhurst claimed a stake in the team’s licenses. Davison re-emerged mid-season in the Holden Performance Driving Centre V8 Supercar Series, where he drove a third, older-spec AU Falcon to a trio of podium finishes at Queensland Raceway. He then returned to the main game with DJR, teaming up with Steven Johnson for Sandown and Bathurst.


Davison completed his first full V8 Supercars Championship with DJR, claiming seven top-ten results from his rookie campaign, with a solid run to the end of the year highlighted by a strong fourth at the Sandown 500 alongside Johnson.


With the underfunded outfit thrown a lifeline in the form of Jim Beam backing, Davison stepped up in his sophomore season. A total of 24 top-ten results saw Davison improve from 19th in the standings to 11th, with a highlight being third in the Bathurst 1000, with Johnson leading late in the rain interrupted run to the finish. Davison would also claim his first solo podium finish in Bahrain.


The season where Davison broke through. Following a win at Eastern Creek’s second round, Davison was also victorious at Winton, with his five podium finishes for the year ultimately seeing him place fifth in the standings, his personal best to date. Another highlight was third in the Phillip Island 500 alongside Johnson.


The 2009 season saw Davison continue his climb up the Supercars ladder, following a move to the Holden Racing Team. The season started out with results of third and second on the streets of Adelaide, with wins following at Sandown, Queensland Raceway, Phillip Island, and the big one, the Bathurst 1000 alongside Garth Tander. A total of 15 podiums from 28 races was backed up by 23 top-ten finishes, ultimately falling short of catching Jamie Whincup in the final standings.


Following the success of 2009, 2010 turned out to be a wretched season for Davison. Nine non-finishes for a variety of reasons from the 26 races relegated Davison down the order in the final standings. Lowlights included crashing out at Bathurst after being set for a podium finish, and being comprehensively fenced over the Rise at Sandown, above.


An off-season switch of camps to Ford Performance Racing saw a return to Davison’s podium ways, with six top-threes for the season, plus a win in the Phillip Island qualifying race. In the final rundown, Davison was ranked seventh.


Davison’s winningest season to date, standing on the top step of the podium eight times at Adelaide, Symmons Plains, Hamilton, Barbagallo (twice), Phillip Island, Surfers Paradise, and at long last, Sydney Olympic Park. The year featured a further seven podium appearances, and importantly, pole position for the Bathurst 1000, in addition to two further poles. In a season where all of the race wins were split between FPR and Triple Eight, only Whincup scored more wins, with Davison ultimately finishing fourth in the final standings.


The first season of the new Car of the Future platform delivered more consistency for Davison, who claimed third in the final run down. Wins at Pukekohe and Townsville were backed up by other podium results in Adelaide, Pukekohe, Queensland Raceway and Sandown. A total of 31 top-ten finishes throughout the season ensured Davison finished behind the Triple Eight duo.


For 2014, Davison was on the move again to Erebus Motorsport, behind the wheel of his third different manufacturer in V8 competition – Mercedes AMG. Davison registered 16 top-ten results for the year, with highlights being a third in Townsville, and pole position for the opening race at the season-ending event on the streets of Sydney Olympic Park.


Davison returned to the top step of the podium, claiming a win at Barbagallo Raceway. However, as the season wore on, the development on the AMG slowed, as the team started its transition to Holden, with results drying up from Sandown onwards.


Tekno Autosports became Davison’s new home in 2016, with the customer Triple Eight squad seeing Davison rise up the rankings once again, to end the year fifth in the standings. Highlights included capturing his second Peter Brock Trophy for winning the Bathurst 1000 alongside Jonathon Webb, third in the Sandown 500 with Webb, with a further win and a third coming at Symmons Plains.


The 2017 season started off on the wrong foot, and never improved. Davison wore the brunt of a 12-car pile-up from the second round at Symmons Plains, from which he was sent to hospital. The season ended with eight top-ten results.


Another off-season move saw Davison land at the start-up one-car 23Red Racing squad, with the 15th place championship result a repeat of his final season at Tekno. The year once again featured eight top-ten finishes.


For the new year, 23Red Racing became an in-house customer team of Tickford Racing, with results quickly turning around. Second place finishes at Queensland Raceway and The Bend were supported by a total of 19 other top-tens, placing Davison eighth on the final scorecard.


After twin top-five results at the season-opening Adelaide 500, the Supercars season unravelled after the mid-meeting cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix, with Davison ultimately the biggest loser of the ensuing lockdown. With the 23Red team shut down, Davison found a Bathurst seat alongside Cam Waters, with the duo finishing The Great Race in second.


Davison returned to his original Supercars home at Dick Johnson Racing, and immediately found the podium in his opening race at Bathurst. The season was another ultra-consistent one, with ten podiums from 30 races, and fourth in the final run down.


The opening rounds of the 2022 year have seen Davison return to victory lane, claiming his 20th career win at Wanneroo Raceway. To date, there has been five other podium finishes shared between Symmons Plains, Albert Park and Wanneroo, complete with four pole positions.

Image Credits: Doric Racing/Media & Communication Services Archives, Mark Walker

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