Andrew Davis has a busy season ahead, with the Athens, Ga. native taking part in both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Pirelli World Challenge, the latter which is in action this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park.
Sportscar365 caught up with Davis ahead of his home race to get his thoughts on PWC and the goals for the season ahead as he and the Calvert Dynamics team comes to grips with Porsche’s new 911 GT3 R in the highly competitive sprint race championship.
Has the start of the Pirelli World Challenge season meshed with your expectations?
“It’s a lot of new things with the Calvert Dynamic Phoenix Performance guys. They are really well versed and have been around for a long time.
“But this is a new venture for them in the the Pirelli World Challenge GT category and also with the new Porsche 911 GT3 R. I’ve spent lots of my career racing Porsche race cars and had lots of success, so to me the car is great.
“The car is a real dream to drive. The series is really, really competitive, and as a team we’ve just been coming together and learning the car. Each event we do, we’re getting more competitive and running up front.”
It is your first year racing in World Challenge. What has the experience been like so far?
“One thing that I’ve always wanted to do that I haven’t had the opportunity to do until now is to have a run in the World Challenge series.
“It was always been a goal of mine, and thanks to Preston Calvert and the Phoenix guys, I’ve been awarded that opportunity and we’re going to make the most of it.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve focused on a sprint race format, so it’s a great challenge for me.”
It’s a new series for you, a new class for the team, is there an inherent learning curve when so much is new?
“There is, there’s no doubt. These cars are very complex, with the electronic aids on there and how dependent they are on aerodynamics. There’s lots to learn.
“I can’t say enough about how hard the Phoenix Performance crew works and how quickly they’ve learned the car. They wouldn’t have been considered a Porsche team over the last several years.
“It’s not what they’ve run, but it’s amazing to me how quickly they’ve learned to work on the car and get the most out of it. At this point in time, it’s pretty obvious that most people would consider our team a Porsche team.”
As a Georgia native, Barber is pretty close to home for you. Does that give this weekend any extra significance for you?
“No doubt. Barber Motorsports Park is a track that I’ve raced at since it opened back in 2003, and also I’ve been an instructor at the Porsche Sport Driving School. I’ve done countless laps and spent countless days in Birmingham.
“Any time you’re at a home base like that it gives you an extra little kick, having friends and family there. It’ll be a nice little homecoming for me.”
It’s been a difficult start to the year for you and the Stevenson bunch through two rounds in IMSA. What are you looking for at the next race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca?
“It’s really about improvement at this point in time. We’ve worked hard in testing to make sure that we’re completely ready to go for the sprint races now and get into the meat of the schedule in the WeatherTech Championship.
“After some difficult endurance races to start the year, call it bad luck or call it whatever you want, we didn’t get the results we wanted in the first two. Now we’re focused on these sprints. That’s where we shine.
“We have great strategy, we have great pit stops, we have great drivers, and a great car with this Audi R8 LMS, so we’re going for it.
“We don’t have to worry about maintaining points gaps or anything like that. In reality, it’s gloves off and lets get both the No. 6 and the No. 9 Stevenson Audis on the podium.”