x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

V8 driver expects 'plenty of wheel-to-wheel racing' in Abu Dhabi

The fourth-placed Davison of Australia will remain in attacking mode for the side event at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Will Davison has not had happy memories of Abu Dhabi with a best finish of 12th place last year.
Will Davison has not had happy memories of Abu Dhabi with a best finish of 12th place last year.

ABU DHABI // With the Australian V8 Supercar drivers' championship yet to be secured, one of the main protagonists in the series has predicted "fireworks" at this weekend's races at Yas Marina Circuit.

The series, which is the only support feature on the bill for this year's Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, will have three 12-lap races, and Will Davison, who is fourth in the standings, believes the V8 Supercars will create plenty of excitement.

"I think, with the championship at stake, you are going to see drivers really going for it and I think the Abu Dhabi fans will see plenty of fireworks in the races," he said. "The races are quite short, at only 12 laps, so you are not going to see the guys hanging around. We are not just here to have some fun and I am sure you will see a lot of action."

Davison, who races for the Ford Performance Racing team, has enjoyed his best season in the series, having won seven times. He is 557 points behind Jamie Whincup, the championship leader, ahead of the Abu Dhabi races, where 100 points are available for the winner of each session.

The Melbourne-based racer acknowledges he is an outsider to claim the title, given his deficit to Whincup with only seven races of the series remaining, but said he will drive aggressively in a bid to cut into Whincup's lead.

"I am still in with a shot of the championship but it is going to be a bit tricky," he said.

"I will be on maximum attack here and we will see what happens. I have a good car and we should be quick."

The series has raced twice before at Yas Marina, in 2010 and 2011, but this is the first time the cars will be tackling the full 5.5-kilometre track, and Davison is relishing the prospect.

"I think it is going to be good, for sure," he said. "The track is very wide, with lots of grip, and has long braking zones and that should suit our style of racing.

"You will see, I expect, some switchbacks, where someone maybe on the outside in the braking area, but can cut back inside through the corner. And there should be plenty of wheel-to-wheel racing, three cars wide on occasions, so hopefully we can put on a good show for anyone watching who has never seen us before."

Davison has been unfortunate on his previous visits to Abu Dhabi, with his top finish in four races being 12th place last year when the cars ran on the shorter "corkscrew" version of the track at Yas Marina.

Of his past efforts here, he said: "I did not have the best of luck here before. I was in some good positions, but for various reasons it did not work out, but hopefully things will go a lot better for me this weekend."

Two practice sessions will take place this morning for the 28 drivers in the field, before qualifying takes place this afternoon at 3pm.

Two races will take place tomorrow with the third race being held on Sunday afternoon, ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

gcaygill@thenational.ae

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