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Davison: Hard tyre not the answer for Bathurst 1000

SOME have tipped moving to the hard tyre could spice up the 2024 Repco Bathurst 1000, but not everyone is in favour.

After a dour 2023 Great Race run on the soft compound, last weekend’s Thrifty Bathurst 500 doubled as a trial of how Gen3 Supercars would fare at Mount Panorama on Dunlop’s harder rubber – with scope to make an informed decision for this October’s spectacle.

Veteran driver Will Davison, however, is not convinced that the hard tyre would be a step forward for the 1000.

“I think the hard is worse,” he told V8 Sleuth with relation to Bathurst.

“I mean, what was the racing like? I don’t think it was any better.

“You’re just on absolute eggshells, it was horrible.

“The only upside is maybe the marbles isn’t as bad offline, but it’s the same problem whether it’s Gen2 or Gen3, the tyre overheats in a train and in this car (Gen3) in particular it is so bad.

“You get a bit hot, you can’t brake because it just locks the front wheel. Like you’re driving in the train, you lose all capacity to do anything, let alone lunge someone.

“If you have got a significant car speed advantage, you could, but there are only a few cars that have got that. There is definitely some cars quicker in a straight line that are finding it easier to pass on the straights.

“But listen, I don’t think it was any better.”

Asked about using the soft again for the Great Race, the #17 Dick Johnson Racing driver responded: “It’s possibly a little bit better.

“It’s just the lock-ups, any time I tried to pass someone (on the hard), I wasn’t even braking hard and the tyre would just lock and you’re just like ‘what the hell just happened?’ You’re not even attacking; it’s bizarre, it’s crazy.

“The cars need to be more user-friendly as a race car. It’s impossible in the train when you’re battling.”

Triple Eight’s Broc Feeney had a different view, declaring himself a fan of the hard tyre for the 1000.

“I think I was able to push a lot harder than what I could have in the 1000,” Feeney said in the Sunday post-race press conference.

“Obviously the stints are a bit shorter here this weekend but, especially in the last couple of stints, I felt like I was able to attack more.

“For me, where we qualified at (compared) to race pace is probably half what it was at the 1000.

“We qualified at a ‘four’ (2m04s) at the 1000 and raced in the ‘eights’; we still raced in the eights today but qualified at a ‘six’.

“So I’m a fan of it, I think it’s better.”

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