We take a look back at 2016’s V8 Supercar season for the XForce Performance Exhaust sponsored Team TEKNO. Read on for the thrills and spills that happened throughout the year!
Will Davison joined Team TEKNO after Shane van Gisbergen left to join the Red Bull Racing Australia, and took to the car like a duck to water. While initial testing at Ipswich were hampered by mechanical issues, Will was excited by the car’s potential, saying “I knew the car was going to be good. I feel comfortable in the car and that I can go hard out the gate at Adelaide.”
Tekno Autosports and Will Davison started extremely well in the stormy race, placing second when the red flag came out. However, due to the V8 Supercars officials enforcing the fuel minimum rule, this placing became disadvantageous as the race was cut short by 30 laps. This meant that Will had to pit several times and dropped back down to 15th place. Despite the controversial race, the team was still upbeat about the car and driver. Will comments “I can feel it’s a really nice package and it’s a really enjoyable car to drive!”. Race 2 was a bit of a gamble, with a specific fuel strategy that saw Will finished in P9, finishing head of Craig Lowndes.
Things did not go well for Tekno Autosports and Will Davison, with a rough start for Will when he hit the wall during Practice 2 on Thursday afternoon. With the team working around the clock repairing the car, Will managed to get out and qualify P16 for Race1 on Friday afternoon. While Race 1 he maintained his position, Will managed to claw his way up to P14 ahead of Chris Pither and David Reynolds.
Will Davison pick up his first victory with TEKNO on Sunday’s 200km race, with a podium placing the day before. It wasn’t without drama though, with Shane van Gisbergen and Mark Winterbottom spinning off the track due to oil at T4. Will held on and sailed through the wrecks to take the lead and the chequered flag.
Despite the news of team manager Steve Hallam’s departure, the TEKNO team held it together to score their first win of the 2016 season.
After a great run in Tasmania, Will was determined to keep his down and get on with the next race. While Wil placed a promising 5th place in Practice 2, Will ultimately qualified in P20 for Race 6 and finished P16. It was looking to be a tough weekend, with Will placing P16 in the second race’s qualifying round. A brilliant strategy from Team TEKNO helped Will Davison to finish in P9 for Race 7.
Unpredictable weather wreaked havoc on most teams, as the varying conditions meant that no one had the feel for the raceway outright. With the sudden rain after the start of qualifying, Will was lucky to grab P9 to start Race 8. In Race 8, Will pitted early to get on slick tyres as the track started to dry up. By the time he crossed the finish line in P4, he had almost nothing left in the tyres. Will finished in P10 for Race 2, with team strategy and car setup not at its optimum.
A recent track resurfacing meant that Winton provided immense amounts of grip to V8 Supercars, at least for those who managed to setup their cars to take advantage of it. The difference between the earlier races was massive, and Will spent a lot of time in practice to get the settings perfect. He was rewarded with P1 in the opening laps of Race 10, but when he pitted during Lap 15, a pit lane mishap meant he rejoined the field in P10. Eventually Will finished strongly in P6. For Race 11, Will made a few more changes, but in the end, he couldn’t find the optimum balance to get a good qualifying lap in, starting in P9. He stayed out to move up to P4, but due to the safety car and the need to pit, he rejoined the race in P17, finishing the race there.
Consistent performances from the Darrell Lea STIX team continued on at Hidden Valley Raceway, with Will recording two 4th place finishes. The challenge was to keep the tyres from overheating, while laying down enough grip to last the race. With safety cars coming out through the races, Will was unable to put clear air between the rest of the field and himself. Despite narrowly missing out on the podium places twice, Will remains upbeat about the car and team. He had collected 1152 points and places P6 after 13 races in the championship.
Coming off the back of twin P4 placings at Hidden Valley, the team was brimming with confidence when they tackled the streets of Townsville. Placing third fastest in both Practice 1 and 2 sessions, spirits were running high, and Will qualified P6 for Race 14. A thrilling finish saw Will edge #22 James Courtney to take P5 for Saturday’s race. On Sunday, Will qualified for the top ten shootout coming in 4th fastest in the qualifying session, but dropped to P8 after stopping the clocks at 1:12.90. During the race, an ill-timed safety car on lap 32 heavily impacted Will’s track position, and was left to double stack behind Craig Lowndes. He eventually rejoined the field in P18. On the 2nd safety car outing, the team decided to call the car in and bolt on fresher tyres, and he managed to storm back to finish P11 for Race 15.
Watch this space for Part 2 of Team TEKNO’s V8 Supercar 2016 season with Will Davison, proudly sponsored by XForce Performance Exhausts!