V8 » 01 August 2009
Davison takes first win at Sandown.
Will Davison looked to the grandstands to see his 83-year old grandmother beaming from ear to ear after a 'perfect day' in the Norton 360 Challenge at Sandown Raceway in Melbourne.
It was 34 years ago that Davison's grandfather Lex, an Australian F1 champion, was killed at the very same track - before the young prodigy was even born - and the family history made the Toll Holden Racing driver's first win all the all the sweeter.
“She was waving the scarf and looked pretty happy,” Davison said after spotting grandmother Diana, “To see the smile on her face was just fantastic.”
The young gun put it down as a very personal victory. Father Richard, who also used to race at the track, was on hand to witness the breakthrough, along with fiancée Riana Crehan and little brother Alex, now driving for Stone Brothers Racing.
Davison comfortably beat Jim Beam Racing's in-form James Courtney, a first time winner at the last event in Townsville, and TeamVodafone's Craig Lowndes, at the same time making up 48 points in Championship leader Jamie Whincup.
“What a perfect day - we've really worked together for this one,” Davison said, “It's hard to explain, but it feels like the best win of my career. It's a massive year for me this year and the transition has gone perfectly. It was getting to that phase where I was putting pressure on myself to start winning races, but this is an unbelievable team and we are striving pretty high.
“These are the races you dream of, and I certainly wasn't relaxed out there, but the car speed was fantastic. This sport keeps you on your toes but there's no magic to it, you just work hard. I now know that it's come to that time of the year that, if I am going to win this championship, I can't keep sitting behind [Whincup] in second position. He got me off the start line, but I wasn't going to settle for [second].”
Davison set up the day with pole position, also his first in V8 Supercars, but Whincup nabbed him off the start/finish line before giving up the spot in the opening laps after a great passing move by his good mate.
Whincup's team-mate Lowndes was the big mover amongst the field with a very fast car as he tore through the field. Lowndes and Davison were easily the best on track in the first half of the race as rain clouds moved in, but Lowndes suffered at a pit-stop when he came out in traffic and lost track position to Courtney on cold tyres. However, opting for the harder control tyre during his lap 22 stop proved fruitful for Lowndes, who was able to pass cars struggling with their worn soft compound tyres later in the race.
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