AN OLD racing connection has helped Will Davison add his name to the impressive list of drivers that will tackle the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour this February.
Davison, who will race for 23Red Racing in the 2018 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, will join Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda in Audi Sport Team WRT’s BRM Chronographes Pro/Am class entry in the February 2-4 event.
His friendship with Lauda was key to returning to the Mountain’s around-the-clock epic with the pair having shared a similar open-wheel background.
The 35-year-old is a former podium finisher from four 12-hour starts, having also scored two victories in the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 classic.
Davison was due to start the 2017 race driving a McLaren and had qualified the car strongly before one of his co-drivers crashed, ruling them out of contention.
“I’m really excited to be doing the race again. After last year disappointment I was really keen to get something happening,” Davison told Bathurst12hour.com.au.
“I was so disappointed to qualify the car second after only doing a few laps however unfortunately the accident meant we weren’t able to go racing.
“Mathias Lauda is a very good friend of mine from when we were racing A1GP together. I heard from him and then the WRT guys and it all came together. It’s certainly going to be a pretty exciting team to be part of.
“All the dialogue I’ve had with them shows that they do things very professionally and it will be good to be part of team like that.”
Davison said he was looking forward to adding his local knowledge to the longstanding Dalla Lama / Lauda / Lamy combination.
The trio have built a strong resume competing together, including winning the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship in the LM GTE-Am class while driving for Aston Martin Racing.
“They’re a combination that is very experienced and do a lot of racing together. It’s really nice to be added to that line up and help bolster their chances.
“I’ll try and help them with my experience of the mountain. I think if we keep it clean, keep our heads we will hopefully feature in the results at the end of 12 hours.
“I’m keen for another crack and pumped to be in one of the awesome GT3 cars again – it’s always highlight of the year to drive one of these cars at the Mountain.”
Like many other full-time Supercars Championship aces, Davison loves the opportunity to take in a different event outside of his full-time Supercars commitments.
“I enjoy working with and finding the chemistry with people and doing something a bit different like this,” he said.
“You’re out of comfort zone and it’s different to what I am used to. Dealing with traffic is a whole new experience – you have to be sensible. There’s time to be made up in traffic but can hurt your race just as easily.
“As the weekend goes on get more and more comfortable closing speed, variation on drivers. It’s very enjoyable.”
WRT will make their Bathurst debut this February having already won a majority of the major GT3 races on the calendar, including the Spa 24 Hour, and multiple titles in the Blancpain GT series.
The team will field two cars in the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour this year, the Dalla Lama / Lamy / Lauda / Davison entry to be joined by an all-professional entry steered by factory Audi stars Robin Frijns, Stuart Leonard and Dries Vanthoor.
Davison adds local knowledge to the squad. He made his 12-Hour debut in 2014, teaming with Greg Crick and Jack LeBrocq in an Erebus Motorsport Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG to finish third.
He missed the 2015 event however returned a year later to finish 9th, sharing a Tekno Autosport McLaren 650S GT3 with Rob Bell and Andrew Watson. He drove the same car last year – this time with Jonny Kane and McLaren young driver Ben Barnicoat – however failed to make the start after the car was crashed heavily on Saturday.
Will will join brother Alex on the 12-hour grid this February, his older Davison brother confirmed late last year to drive the Competition Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3R with David Calvert-Jones, Matt Campbell and Patrick Long.
Tickets and Camping for the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour remain on sale via Ticketek, with race-day tickets just $46 and including free paddock access.