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Big guns get together for V8 SuperTourer races

17 September 2013

Big guns get together for V8 SuperTourer races

Alex Davison’s height has helped the fast Aussie racer gain a plum drive with Kiwi ace Shane Van Gisbergen in New Zealand’s BNT V8 SuperTourer endurance series, starting at Hampton Downs at the end of this month.

Davison, a member of the factory-backed Ford Performance Racing squad in the V8 Supercar championship, and Van Gisbergen become one of the leading pairings for the tough series, with two top drivers in their Koba Falcon.

The Aussie is nearly as tall as the lofty Kiwi and that was one reason why Van Gisbergen invited him to share his car in the three-round series, feature class in the Hankook Super Series.

“We’ve both had those issues over the years fitting in smaller guys’ cars,” Davison said. Driver changes during pit stops are much more difficult if the drivers are different sizes and the seating position needs to be changed.

“We were team-mates at Stone Brothers and we shared a car together in the [Australian] endurance races in 2009. It was the first time I was the shorter guy, I was the one who needed a booster seat to fit in his car.

“I think we teamed up pretty well. He’s obviously right on the pace and running right up the front so I’m going over there with the aim of winning some races and I’m sure he is.”

Davison has plenty of experience of driving endurance races including the toughest of them all, the Le Mans 24-Hour classic.

“In 2008 I drove for Porsche competing in various GT championships around the world, predominantly the European Le Mans Series plus a whole host of different events – the Le Mans 24 Hours, Sebring 12 Hours and a lot of one-off events.”

Davison and German co-driver Marc Lieb finished second in the GT2 class of the European Le Mans Series. He enjoys the extra challenges of long-distance races.

“In a lot of ways there’s a whole lot of extra variables in the mix, but at the end of the day once you’re in the car it’s all the same,” he said. “You hop in and you race as hard as you can.

“And these days whether it’s V8 SuperTourers or V8 Supercars or GTs or whatever, the cars are so reliable and strong the old discipline of having to look after the car isn’t really an issue and more and it’s just balls-out every lap.”

The endurance series, which carries its own title and prizes, is the concluding section of the overall 2013 BNT V8 SuperTourers championship, led by Holden’s Greg Murphy from Hamilton Ford driver Ant Pedersen and Van Gisbergen.

The series starts with the Waikato 400 at Hampton Downs on September 28-29, continues at Hampton Downs again on October 19-20 and concludes at Pukekohe on November 29-December 1.


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