Will Davison has placed himself squarely in line for inclusion in next season's Renault Driver Development Programme (DDP), after impressing in a recent test with the Hitech Racing F3 team.

Eager to find a place on a scheme that could take him all the way to Formula One, the Australian dominated a two-day test with Hitech at Oulton Park and Snetterton, topping the timesheets in virtually every session over the two days despite running against the cream of this year's British and European Championship contenders, including Nelson Piquet Jr and Nico Rosberg.

"We dominated every session on each day," Davison confirmed "Anyone who is anyone in F3 was at the test - and we were on top of them all.

"I could not have done anymore on the two test days. I put everything I have learnt during the year into the days and it all came together perfectly. You don't always have days where everything goes right but these were two of them. I outdid their expectations, they said that I did exactly what they hoped for and couldn't have asked for anymore. That's all I can do at this stage!

"Overall, the two days were hugely constructive. Hitech are very, very keen to make something happen for 2004 and I'm at that point of the year where my confidence is up and I'm starting to really know what I need to do with these cars. I feel sure in myself and I feel like I am on top of my game and ready to win. It's good to be able to prove a point. Even after the last round at Brands Hatch, where I raised my game, I've taken another step up again."

Since winning in dominating style for Alan Docking Racing at Croft in May, Davison and the team suffered an inexplicable slump in form, with the only consoling factor for the Australian being that he consistently out-qualified and out-raced his highly-rated Red Bull-backed team-mates.

In an effort to salvage something from the season - and potentially his entire European career - Davison made the difficult decision to leave ADR and join Menu Motorsport for the final championship rounds. With an immense amount of pressure on his shoulders, he immediately made his point by finishing an unlucky fourth at Donington after only being passed in the final laps by two slick-shod cars on a drying track, and second at the final event of the season at Brands Hatch.

Hitech team principal David Hayle approached Davison's management following his return to form with Menu, and made it clear that he had been watching Davison since his arrival in the UK at the beginning of 2002 and rated him far more highly than his overall season's result reflected. With Hitech's two Renault-backed drivers, Danny Watts and Eric Salignon, both having been dropped from the programme after the 2003 campaign, the opportunity was left open for Davison to be included for 2004.

A successful test with Hitech at the conclusion of the season would guarantee a recommendation from Hayle to Renault for inclusion in the DDP for 2004 and, if successful, could lead to a fully-funded season in British F3 next season.

At the conclusion of the two days, Hayle, together with partner Bruce Jenkins, who engineered Paul Stewart Racing and drivers including David Coulthard, Gil de Ferran and Jan Magnussen to multiple British F3 Championships during the 1990s, claimed that Davison had performed beyond what they had expected and that they would be making the recommendation to Renault for his inclusion in the programme.

 

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