After a tough start to the V8 Supercar Championship season in Adelaide, Alex Davison will look to bounce back as the series heads to Melbourne for the non-championship Australian Grand Prix event.
The IRWIN Racing driver lies down in 17th place in the standings after the Clipsal 500 after finishing 15th in the opening race and 25th in race two – an engine problem in practice having left him on the back foot for the remainder of the weekend.
In Melbourne however, Davison will be able to run without the pressures of championship points with the event instead being focused on the battle between rival manufacturers Ford and Holden – with three races over the weekend to decide the top manufacturer in the series.
"The V8 event at the Grand Prix is an interesting format, it's like no other racing we have in the championship," Davison said. "We had a tough start to the year in Adelaide and our goal at Albert Park is to make progress. V8 Supercars are tricky to find the sweet spot and we are going to use the Grand Prix event as the opportunity to work away on improving the IRWIN Ford.
"We lost pretty much all of practice in Adelaide, so we want to make the most of all practice, qualifying and race sessions at Albert Park. I don't want to make a call on a goal of where we want to finish, but if we have a good run through practice and into the races, as well as make no mistakes, I will be more than happy - no matter what the final placing."
The Albert Park Circuit is considered a street track, but it is vastly different to last weekend's Clipsal 500 on the streets of Adelaide, with race engineer Wes McDougall admitting the weekend would require a different approach to normal.
"Technically it is a street track, but it is more like a permanent circuit with plenty of wide run-off areas and other safety features," he said. "It is a unique track for the V8 series as it has to be the smoothest and flattest tracks that we run all year.
"Most turns are slow, so you need excellent chassis balance as there are no real high-speed corners to speak of. What this does mean is that there are quite a few passing opportunities on the track."