He ruined a fairytale finish to Perth’s V8 Supercars round but Mercedes driver Will Davison frankly doesn’t care.
The Erebus Motorsport driver snatched a dramatic win over Holden veteran Craig Lowndes at Barbagallo Raceway on Sunday for his first win since making the switch to Betty Klimenko’s team.
Davison’s pass with just over four laps to go in the 83-lap race denied Lowndes, just as it seemed he was about to claim an unprecedented 100th V8s win.
The pair had stormed into contention midway through the race when a safety car sparked by Davison’s teammate Ash Walsh suddenly gave them the edge over the previously dominant Ford pair of Mark Winterbottom and Chaz Mostert.
While Prodrive Racing Australia duo Winterbottom and Mostert were stuck managing used tyres for the race’s second half, Lowndes and Davison both came out of the safety car period on fresh soft tyres.
Lowndes cleared away to a two-second advantage but when his own tyres started to lose traction, Davison pounced to claim his first race win since Townsville in 2013.
“They’re the races you dream of to be honest,” Davison said.
“I’m one of CL’s biggest fans and got a lot of respect for him sitting on 99 there but as much as I’m sure it would’ve been great headlines, you don’t feel sorry for someone on 99 race wins.
“We’ve been working pretty hard for this so I wanted to do it clean. It’s very, very special for the team and myself.”
Lowndes held onto his wobbly Red Bull Racing Commodore to cross the line second, ahead of Holden’s Fabian Coulthard – who overcame having to start 24th after a harsh red flag penalty in qualifying to finish on the podium.
Despite missing out on the win, Lowndes was philosophical about the result.
“With five laps to go the car just started to go in turn one and you knew straightaway at that point because the soft tyre doesn’t recover,” he said.
“Full credit to Will and his guys. I know how that first result feels when you join a new team. It’s bittersweet but we’ll move on, fight on and see what we can do at Winton.”
Lowndes does leave Western Australia atop the championship standings, holding a 52 point lead over Holden’s James Courtney.
Winterbottom, who won both of Saturday’s sprint races, finished 15th as his tyres faded sharply in the final laps on Sunday and is now third in the standings.
Defending champion Jamie Whincup had a horror day, running off the track early and going a lap down before eventually limping home in 19th.
Whincup will head to the next round at Victoria’s Winton Motor Raceway fifth on the championship standings, 83 points behind leader Lowndes.