Race of Champions

The 2017 Monster Jam tour returns to Australia this month with an awesome all-new component called the Race Of Champions added to the big shows across Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. The Aussie premiere of ROC will bring together some of the world’s best drivers from different disciplines and various major motor sport series — including Formula 1, World Rally, Le Mans, Nascar, IndyCar, Touring Cars and MotoGP — for a unique head-to-head race, in identical cars, to see who really is the fastest of them all. MAXIM gets the lowdown from V8 Supercar driver, and two-time Bathurst 1000 winner, WILL DAVISON who will be one of the challengers taking to the track at Monster Jam in Melbourne…

How did you originally get involved in motorsports, Will?
My grandfather raced — he was a four-time Australian Grand Prix winner — as did my father who was a Formula 2 Champion and my brother, plus my uncle, cousins and step grandfather. He was the first Australian to race in a World Championship Grand Prix. So, I’m a third-generation racer and it came naturally.

Do you have any idols within the sport?
Ayrton Senna was my idol growing up and probably my granddad Lex and my step-grandad Tony Gaze — what they achieved was amazing.

What do you most love about your sport?
It’s my whole world. I eat, sleep and breathe motor racing. There’s nothing more satisfying than driving a perfect race, keeping the car on the limit, balancing between ultimate speed and crashing. It’s a buzz.

What’s the toughest thing about the V8 Supercars?
You are only as good as your last race. It’s a brutal environment and it doesn’t take much for people to doubt you. That’s frustrating because results aren’t just the result of what the driver does.

If you had to choose one standout moment from your career to date, what would it be?
It’s hard to separate testing an F1 car for Minardi and my two Bathurst wins — they are things you only dream of as a young karter.

Have you had any scary moments?
Plenty. Probably the worst was being crashed out of a race at Sandown a few years back, where I went backwards into the fence at almost top speed. That was a big one. And also this year, in Tasmania, where I was involved in a multi-car accident that put me in hospital for a day or so.

What’s your pet hate in the sport?
We are very lucky to do what we do, it disappoints me when people are negative.

What led you to become one of the challengers in the Race Of Champions at Monster Jam?

Race Of Champions (ROC) is a world-class event that will feature at Monster Jam this year for the very first time ever. I’ve always wanted to do the event so I jumped at the chance when I was asked, as it brings together some of the world’s best drivers from the major motorsport series. It also ensures fans witness the ultimate showdown where motorsport royalty go head-to-head in a unique competition on the Monster Jam dirt track to determine who really is the fastest of them all. And I can’t wait!

What else are you looking forward to at this big race?
ROC is a great chance for some fun in an otherwise political sport. Same car, really fun little buggy to throw around and I love the concept of stadium type atmosphere with motorsport. We don’t usually get the chance for that. ROC has nailed it.

Finally, what can fans expect to see at the Monster Jam shows in October?
It’s going to be an awesome, fun show with lots of action and we’ll be giving it a red hot crack! ■


For the full article grab the October 2017 issue of MAXIM Australia from newsagents and convenience locations. Subscribe here.

Alexis Ren

Jessica Gomes