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HomeNewsDavison calls DJR criticism 'brutal, unfair'

Davison calls DJR criticism ‘brutal, unfair’

WILL Davison says some of the backlash Dick Johnson Racing has faced during an underwhelming start to the Gen3 Supercars era has been unfair.

DJR was Supercars’ premier team in the 2017 to 2020 period, before the departures of driver Scott McLaughlin and co-owner Roger Penske.

The subsequent changing of the guard was met with a wave of criticism in early 2021 before Davison and Anton De Pasquale settled in as front-runners.

De Pasquale went on a hot streak at the Sydney Motorsport Park quadruple-header in late 2021, and Davison was Shane van Gisbergen’s fiercest rival for chunks of last season.

The off-season introduction of the Gen3 ruleset has provided a new hurdle, DJR on the back foot early and still recovering with the season one-third done.

Davison has led the way, with his #17 Shell V-Power Mustang increasingly becoming a fixture inside the top 10.

Nevertheless, being podium-less and seventh in the teams’ championship is some way off expectation for the famous Ford squad.

“Of course this isn’t where we’re used to running but people have been pretty brutal, pretty unfair, that don’t really understand the realities,” Davison said in the team’s post-Tasmania review video.

“We’re just head down. We don’t get to test often; we test next week and every time we roll these cars out we’re learning more.

“We’re very hit and miss, the cars are incredibly on edge, same for everyone, but it only takes the smallest imbalance where you start sliding the tyre and you’re just absolutely nowhere.

“It’s all new for us, it’s all new for everyone and we’re just being a bit inconsistent but I think we are starting to make some sense of it now.

“We still need to keep improving but I’m encouraged by that.

“Clearly we’re up against it as well, the Fords up against the Camaros, it’s very, very tough to compete with them at the moment but we’re just focused on ourselves and I’m sure all of that will take care of itself.”

Anton De Pasquale. Pic: Ross Gibb

De Pasquale struggled for one-lap pace at Symmons Plains but did make up considerable ground in all three races.

His weekend had got off to a poor start courtesy of a clutch failure which raised eyebrows in the DJR camp.

DJR had also battled clutch issues throughout pre-season and Round 1.

“The mechanical issue with Anton’s car in practice was a really strange one,” said team principal Ben Croke.

“We run a control clutch, it’s the same in all 25 cars throughout the field. They were all new at the start of the year so they have done just over 2000km.

“Typically we would run a clutch hub 10,000km, somewhere around that; it’s always crack-tested, always checked, so for that to fail in the way that it did is a really strange and worrying thing for not only us but the category.”

DJR will test at Queensland Raceway on June 1.

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