Fresh from a strong run at the recent Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour race, Queensland's Shae Davies carried competitive form into last weekend's opening round of the 2016 Dunlop V8 Supercars Championship on the streets of Adelaide.
The 25-year-old second year V8 driver was right among the front-runners from the outset, lapping over one second quicker than the times he recorded at the same Adelaide Parklands venue only 12 months ago.
Qualifying for Race 1 saw Davies Davbridge Constructions/MWM Falcon claiming position nine for the opening 19 lap encounter, which proved to be a torrid affair throughout. After following a car spewing oil from it throughout the race, Davies claimed a solid seventh place finish on his debut with the Matt White Motorsport operation.
"That was one tough race and I can't believe the car ahead was allowed to continue in the race. It was venting oil out all race and the cars in my group were sliding all over the place, which was less than ideal. I botched my start when I missed the jump but the car was strong after that; I just couldn't use the speed I had to the reduced grip on offer."
Saturday's second qualifying session was looking very good for Davies when he set a time good enough for sixth, before it was disallowed for what was deemed excessive use of the kerbs. Undeterred Davies pushed on and was on target to move into the top five when a small mistake on his final lap cost him dearly, leaving him down in 11th position for the second and final race of the weekend.
After completing the opening lap of Race 2 in 12th position, Davies soon passed a gaggle of cars before latching onto a spirited pack disputing a place in the top six, which Davies would go on to claim with just two laps remaining, setting lap times that all but matched those of the race winner.
An overall result of fourth place was a great return from two strong drives and leaves Davies as the highest placed older specification car in the championship points.
"The car was great in that final race, and the boys really tuned it up nicely. With more time I think I could have challenged for the podium but to come away with a top-four result is really pleasing considering the team and I have only spent a few days together. Phillip Island is the next event and I love that place, and with very few of the Dunlop Series drivers having ever raced a V8 Supercar there I will be hoping to use that to my advantage from the outset."