Spa 24-Hour: ‘No expectations’ for Davies ahead of ‘unpredictable’ EWC debut| World Staff | World News
Chaz Davies is set to make his, slightly stalled, FIM Endurance World Championship debut at the legendary Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps this week.
Having intended to take to the Le Mans track for the opening 24-hour encounter in April, Davies was struck down with a virus at the final moment. However, the former MotoGP and World Superbike rider is back and ready to take on the Belgian track this weekend as part of the ERC Endurance-Ducati squad.
The 35-year-old Welshman joined teammates Xavi Fores and David Checa at the imposing 7km circuit in a recent test to prepare for the 24H Spa EWC Motos, with the Ducati WorldSBK coach instantly impressed.
“It’s cool, it’s one of those boxes you’ve got to tick, riding at Spa and now racing at Spa it’s up there with all the legendary tracks in all the rest of the world,” Davies confirmed. “It’s a hell of a layout, just incredible, it’s fun to ride and it definitely lives up to the hype.
“I’ve done a couple of three-hour kart races at my dad’s track 25 years ago, does that count?” he asked when questioned on his lack of endurance experience. “That’s about as much as I’ve got so my experience is pretty much zero. But I don’t think you can go into endurance racing with expectations. It’s so unpredictable.
“Having followed the EWC for a fair few years, when you think it’s going to go one way it goes the opposite. I’ll keep an open mind to try and enjoy it, take on the experience of doing a 24-hour event and understand how I cope with it. It’s going to be new to me but I’m going in without any preconceptions.”
And what of riding at night?
“It looks like it’s going to be a hell of an experience and something that will probably take some time to get used to. But with time it’s something you learn and understand how the bike feels at night and how much you can push.
“You’ve got some really tough competitors, really good riders in the championship and really good manufacturers who are supporting the job so it’s a really competitive environment.
“It’s more about the team and the collective effort. And as Marvin [Fritz] and Karel [Hanika] managed to prove last year in Most [as WorldSBK wildcards] they did a really good job and showed they’ve got great speed even in a 30-minute race. So translate that across into World Endurance and you’ve got a really exciting and good championship.”