Supercars return tough for Davison
DUAL Bathurst champion Will Davison has opened up on the moment he felt his "world collapse" after losing his Supercars seat and is unsure if he will be able to watch when racing returns this weekend.
Faced with the prospect of not being on the Supercars grid for the first time since 2005, Davison expects the reality of his shock exit to hit home as the V8s roared back into action at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Davison became a casualty of the COVID-19 economic fallout when his Ford team 23Red Racing was forced to pull the pin on the 2020 season in May after the loss of its major sponsor.
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The timing was particularly cruel given Davison's impressive start to the year in his Mustang, sitting fourth in the championship standings after the opening round in Adelaide before the season was shut down.
While pleased for the sport racing was returning, 37-year-old Davison conceded he had mixed emotions ahead of the series return.
"It's great that the sport is getting back running for the fans and everything, but for myself it's quite a strange feeling," Davison, a two-time winner at Mount Panorama, said.
"I'm not sure exactly how I'll feel this weekend or whether I'll want to watch.
"It's certainly very difficult given how strong we started the season. I was in a really good place. I've had a bit of time to get my head around it I suppose in the last couple of months and the reality of it is really going to hit home this weekend.
"You realise how much you love the sport and how much I'd love to be going racing this weekend … it's really tough."
In his third year with 23Red Racing, which operated under the Tickford Racing umbrella, Davison had set the pace in pre-season testing and secured a pair of top-five finishes in Adelaide.
When the shutdown came, Davison said he had an "inkling" there was going to be financial trouble, but was still left in shock when the news came the team was no longer.
"I just felt my world collapse," Davison said.
"It was pretty much shock, it was an eerie feeling. I was a bit stunned, I didn't quite know how to take it.
"I had heard whispers but when you actually hear the news nothing can quite prepare you. I really didn't think it would quite come to that … it is pretty hard to swallow."
It has been a tough period in the Davison household with his wife, Supercars pit reporter Riana Crehan, who is also on hiatus from her role at the moment and unable to work at the Sydney round due to restrictions on numbers.
"It's a bit of a double whammy for us both," Davison said.
"I suppose we are both out of job effectively. It's great that we've had each other for support and we are both pretty positive people and try and look at things glass half full.
"She is extremely hopeful she will be able to get back to the track soon, but it is all a bit of an unknown.
"We started the year in the best possible fashion getting married and from then on it's all been downhill."
Davison hopes to be back behind the wheel as a co-driver for the Bathurst 1000 in October and is confident of a return to the grid next year, but has not yet confirmed any plans.
"I should definitely be on the grid at Bathurst, so I am obviously excited about that," Davison said.
"I haven't locked away my plans yet but certainly had a lot of interest which has been great. My focus really is on 2021 at this stage … once I get that locked away it will make my decision for Bathurst a bit easier.
"It's a fickle industry but I am really confident I will be able to get something together. I'm just focused on keeping myself fit and sharp and just ready for my next opportunity."
And he doesn't begrudge James Courtney slotting into the spot he vacated at Tickford Racing.
"They saw an opportunity so good on them really," Davison said.
"It's quite funny the way it all panned out. James was in a tough situation after Adelaide and was inevitably out of a drive. I wouldn't have picked this that it would have turned out like this after Adelaide that I would be the one on my backside watching."