Sydney Supercars: Van Gisbergen wins, heartbreak for Davison
Davison was given a free kick at the start of the race when teammate, polesitter and weekend-long pacesetter Anton De Pasquale bogged his Dick Johnson Racing Mustang down at the start.
As De Pasquale dropped back to seventh Davison was able to sweep into the lead, swiftly building a 2.5-second gap over a fast-starting Shane van Gisbergen, who went from sixth to second on the opening lap.
That gapped was mostly stable across the first stint, Davison well-placed to take his first win since re-joining DJR.
However his good work was undone by an electrical gremlin that reared its head early in the stint, Davison left flying blind by a non-functioning dash.
The issue meant Davison had no speed indicator, gear indicator or speed limiter when he came in to make his Lap 15 spot, a subsequently slow approach to his pit box allowing van Gisbergen to close the gap in the lane.
Van Gisbergen then took on three tyres to jump Davison, who took on four tyres while the team rebooted his car.
De Pasquale actually ended up with the lead after the stops courtesy of an early Lap 8 service, but was never going to have the tyres to fight for the win.
He did, however, manage to get in van Gisbergen’s way long enough to ensure Davison could pull right up to the Triple Eight Holden’s rear wing.
On Lap 23, van Gisbergen barged past De Pasquale who promptly waved Davison through.
But while Davison stayed glued to the back of van Gisbergen’s car there was no way through, the series leader holding on for an impressive win.
“We had a bit of luck with whatever dramas [DJR] had, but a perfect pitstop from the Red Bull Ampol Racing boys to get out in front,” said van Gisbergen.
“I had a pretty fun first lap racing with the guys and that set the race up. That’s he attitude we had coming here; we do have a big [series] lead but it’s not done yet. We have to make sure everyone knows we’re here to win races and not just collect points. I’m here to have a crack.”
Davison added: “I’m gutted. We lost all dash and comms on Lap 2. I was flying blind but I knew my shift points pretty well.
“But when I came in for the stop… no lights, no gear position, it just had a black-out in the pitlane. I didn’t know what gear I was in, I got neutral. I was trundling down pitlane with no electrics at all.
“I can’t believe it. These things happen, it’s just… to be in that position to get win, the last win I was going to get in 2019 at The Bend I had an airbox fire in the lane.
“It’s all good but I won’t lie, I’m devastated.”
De Pasquale did his best to hold on to third place, but came under significant pressure from Brodie Kostecki and Nick Percat.
As the trio battled over third Percat managed to sneak past Kostecki, before getting past the #11 DJR Ford to nab the final spot on the podium.
Kostecki finished fourth ahead of De Pasquale, while Tim Slade was comfortably the best-placed Tickford-built car in sixth with the Blanchard Racing Team entry.
Jamie Whincup finished seventh as Chaz Mostert, Andre Heimgartner and David Reynolds rounded out the Top 10.
It was another tough race for Tickford, Cam Waters the best of the ‘factory’ cars in 14th.