Davison denies Lowndes in Barbagallo finale

An emotional Will Davison has answered his critics in the best possible fashion today, taking victory in the 200km race this afternoon at the Perth SuperSprint.

Following a promising, but ultimately disastrous run in Tasmania that culminated in his now infamous clash with James Courtney, the win today left the Erebus Motorsport V8 driver feeling vindicated. The clash with Courtney showed just how much a podium result would mean to the team ­– and today they were able to celebrate the best kind.

“I’m not a believer in karma, but to be honest … I won’t lie, you do start wondering when you’re going to win again, so it feels pretty damn special,” said Davison.

As a surprise victor, Davison rained on the parade of near-centurion Craig Lowndes as he passed the Red Bull Racing Australia driver with five laps remaining in the 84-lap fixture, scuttling any chance of a famous 100th victory for Lowndes.

“I’m one of CL’s [Craig Lowndes] biggest fans and I’ve got a lot of respect for him sitting on 99 there,” Davison said.

“But as much as that would have been a great headline, you don’t feel sorry for someone on 99 race wins.

“We’ve been working pretty hard for this, we wanted to do it clean, it’s very, very special for the team.”

Davison described the race as a ‘dream’, labelling his run as perfect across the tough test of man and machine.

“It was one of those races where everything just came together,” he said.

“It was about staying calm and to be honest, second was going to be an amazing result for us.

“I couldn’t believe when I started seeing CL have some big slides with about five or six laps to go. That actually drew me to go even smoother, just to really give us that tyre [life]. I just drove real smooth. They’re the races you dream of,” Davison said.

Davison and Lowndes started seventh and eighth on the grid, and after passing yesterday’s dominant Pepsi Max Fords drove away from the field.

On lap 79 of 83 Davison made the dive at turn six and passed the Red Bull Commodore for the race lead.

Lowndes looked as if he was in the box seat as the soft versus hard tyre battle played out – but the Erebus E63 crashed the party in Perth, delivering Davison his first win for the team and first win as a driver since Townsville 2013.

Lowndes was philosophical about how close he got to his personal milestone, but is not stressed about being in the ‘nervous nineties’.

“It would have been nice to get the 100th win today, particularly here in Perth where I broke the record two years ago,” Lowndes said.

“Ultimately, it wasn’t to be and we just didn’t quite have the tyre left at the end of the race to defend against Will. There wasn’t much I could do about it.”

Third place was also unpredictable, with Fabian Coulthard coming from the back of the grid after an off in the sand at turn six ruined his qualifying. He powered on through a cool suit failure and recovered the day in his Freightliner Commodore.

“To start the day 24th and finish thirrd was pretty cool,” Coulthard said.

“The guys and the strategy was awesome. No-one gave up. That was the message that I got today. Everyone said don’t stress, what’s happened has happened so take it in your stride, and that is exactly what I did.”

Pole man Chaz Mostert was the first Ford home in fourth, with Holden Racing Team pair James Courtney and Garth Tander fifth and sixth, with James Moffat, Nick Percat, David Reynolds and Michael Caruso rounding out the top 10.

Shane van Gisbergen, who came into the race with an additional set of new tyres thanks to a ballsy strategy call yesterday was 14th, with Saturday double-winner Winterbottom in 15th.

It was a forgettable day for Jamie Whincup, finishing 19th after spearing off track early.

Result: V8 Supercars Race 9, Barbagallo 

1 Erebus Motorsport V8 Will Davison Mercedes E63 AMG 83 01:25:26.7265
2 Red Bull Racing Australia Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 83 01:25:32.3340
3 Freightliner Racing Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VF 83 01:25:34.1004
4 Pepsi Max Crew Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 83 01:25:38.8487
5 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VF 83 01:25:41.5978
6 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 83 01:25:43.4909
7 Nissan Motorsport James Moffat Nissan Altima 83 01:25:46.9039
8 Repair Management Aust Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore VF 83 01:25:51.2885
9 The Bottle-O Racing Team David Reynolds Ford Falcon FG/X 83 01:25:51.5624
10 Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 83 01:25:51.8276
11 GB Galvanizing Racing Dale Wood Holden Commodore VF 83 01:25:55.3320
12 Team Cooldrive Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore VF 83 01:25:57.0039
13 Nissan Motorsport Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 83 01:25:57.8053
14 Team Darrell Lea STIX Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 83 01:26:01.6450
15 Pepsi Max Crew Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 83 01:26:02.2944
16 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VF 83 01:26:02.6148
17 Walkinshaw Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VF 83 01:26:03.0823
18 Wilson Security Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 83 01:26:07.6341
19 Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 82 01:25:32.5140
20 Nissan Motorsport Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 82 01:25:32.6822
21 Wilson Security Racing GRM David Wall Volvo S60 82 01:26:04.7346
22 Erebus Motorsport V8 Ashley Walsh Mercedes E63 AMG 77 01:25:44.5818
23 Supercheap Auto Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore VF 69 01:26:23.2185
DNF Super Black Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Falcon FG/X 78 01:21:12.3104
DNF DJR Team Penske Scott Pye Ford Falcon FG/X 78 01:21:12.6623

Championship Standings

1 Craig Lowndes 717
2 James Courtney 665
3 Mark Winterbottom 643
4 Fabian Coulthard 641
5 Jamie Whincup 630
6 Shane Van Gisbergen 595
7 Garth Tander 595
8 Chaz Mostert 545
9 David Reynolds 486
10 Rick Kelly 431
11 Jason Bright 429
12 Will Davison 399
13 Todd Kelly 394
14 Nick Percat 349
15 James Moffat 332
16 Dale Wood 331
17 Scott McLaughlin 318
18 Tim Slade 311
19 Lee Holdsworth 309
20 Tim Blanchard 298
21 Michael Caruso 288
22 Andre Heimgartner 272
23 David Wall 237
24 Ashley Walsh 194
25 Scott Pye 143
26 Marcos Ambrose 125