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Crash.Net V8 News
Davison heads Toll HRT 2-3
11 July 2009
Toll HRT's Will Davison finished second on Saturday in the opening V8 Supercar race at the inaugural Dunlop Townsville 400 in North Queensland.
Davison seemed to run a seamless race holding the team's strategy for the #22 Holden VE Commodore and chasing down friend and Championship rival in front, Jamie Whincup.
Indeed he only got stronger as the race went on - although he had to hold his breath over the final laps when his engine had a few oil pressure issues. This meant he came under pressure from his team-mate Garth Tander - but he held his nerve and crossed the finish line to take silver.
"It was a pretty chaotic race; we took it relatively easy early on. GT and I were both struggling in those early phases, there were a couple of guys coming through pretty hard and I was wary of looking after my tyres as I wasn't sure how long we were going to run on that stint," said Davison.
"The first stop was all pretty smooth sailing, but obviously that safety car that came out mid-race was chaos in a way. We were able to capitalise quite well in that situation and jump up a couple of spots.
"From then on the second sector of the race was pretty good, the car was probably a bit better on the second set of tyres and we were keeping ground with Jamie [Whincup].
"I was able to pull away from Michael Caruso but at the end there with about 20 laps to go we had an oil surging issue and Garth was starting to close in. I was having problems at certain parts of the track and he was gaining on me quickly.
"The last safety car was panic stations for me really as the field closed right up but I was able to hang off until the finish."
Meanwhile Garth Tander made a good start in the #2 Toll HRT Commodore and he maintained third position on the opening laps.
He pitted early on lap 6 and having opted for a long fuel stop lost ground. He then managed to make back some of the time, before pitting again on lap 29 and subsequently dropping down the order. He battled back though and was very strong over the closing laps, eventually finishing right behind Davison.
"Our first stop was way too long," Tander reflected. "We did our long fill at the start and that certainly hurt us for track position because we were second at that stage, as Courtney (I think) had a problem. As it turned out Holdsworth had a problem as well so we were probably looking pretty good there.
"We were struggling a bit over the first stint of the race and after we made our second stop (and made a few changes to the car) it was absolutely fantastic in the second half of the race. We saved fuel for a lot of that part of the race so we could turn it up again at the end of the race and managed to get past Caruso and give Will a hard time at the end.
"Given where we both are in the Championship I certainly wasn't going to make a big move to get through but if the opportunity was there I would have taken it but I wasn't going to compromise both our races.
"We have a fast car, we still have a few issues we need to fix handling wise which I think we're slowly getting on top of so we will qualify tomorrow, see where we end up but I think we have a very fast race car."
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