IRWIN Racing has quickly turned its attention to Bathurst in three week's time after a horror weekend at Phillip Island.
Struggling from the outset, Alex Davison and David Brabham had to battle with their blue-and-yellow Ford Falcon all weekend, unable to find either a nice balance or competitive speed.
For the first time as a Stone Brothers Racing full-time driver, Davison had to suffer the indignity of starting the L&H Phillip Island 500 at the rear of the grid.
Beginning the 113-lap race, Davison put the disappointment of qualifying behind him and made a stunning start, moving from 28th to 19th on the first lap. However, two laps later, he dropped several places when avoiding an incident in front of him.
Despite the setback, both Davison and Brabham kept a cool head throughout the race and stayed with the pack. Brabham reminded everyone of his obvious talent by improving the team's position during his stint, while his fastest lap was on a par with several of the series' full-time drivers.
“I was looking forward to doing the V8s again, driving for IRWIN Tools and with Alex," the veteran commented, "I'd seen how well they'd gone this year and my expectations were high - I thought we'd have a top ten car out there - but this championship amazes me, as even the top teams can be 20th because they haven't quite hooked the car up right.
"The V8s are so sensitive, if you don't quite get them right they can be very tough. We just had one of those weekends where we couldn't quite get it together. Even though we had a similar set-up to car #9, we weren't getting the same response, which can happen."
However, despite both drivers' best efforts, and Davison battling hard after the final pit-stop, the IRWIN pair ended the race in 23rd place.
"I wouldn't say it's been a dead loss, after a weekend like this people tend to dig a bit deeper, there's always reasons why things have happened and I'm sure everyone will be working hard so that we have a fast car at Bathurst,” Brabham concluded.
The sportscar ace now heads home to England, but will return to Australia on the Saturday prior to the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, where he will again team up with Davison.