The demise of the Boost Mobile Super Trucks resulted in a diaspora of its roster towards other endeavours. For Shae Davies, he will be heading to open-wheel racing. On Wednesday, Versa Motorsport announced Davies has joined the team for the rest of the 2022 S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship and Tasman Series.
Davies will serve as a team-mate to Cooper Webster, who finished runner-up in Race #3 of the season-opening round at Symmons Plains Raceway in February and is consequently second in points. Located in Bundoora, Victoria and led by Toby Pope, Versa Motorsport was founded in late 2021 and debuted at that year’s Sydney Motorsport Park round, where Webster scored a Race #2 podium by finishing third.
“We are very excited to have Shae join the Versa Motorsport Team,” Pope stated. “Being such a highly experienced and successful driver locally and offshore, we can’t wait to start working with Shae and are focused on building together for the rest of season.”
While he is not unfamiliar with open-wheel cars as he raced in Formula Ford and the F1600 Championship Series in 2012, much of Davies’ career in the decade since has been in closed-wheel and touring car categories. He was a regular in the Repco Supercars Championship and its Super2 and Super3 feeder divisions, which included winning the 2013 championship in the latter. Between 2018 and 2019, he left Australia to compete in the Blancpain GT Series Asia and GT World Challenge Europe.
In 2020, he began competing in the Boost Mobile Super Trucks, a newly formed Australian offshoot of the American Stadium Super Trucks. Although the inaugural season only lasted one weekend of three races at the Adelaide 500 due to COVID-19, Davies made the most of the round by winning Race #3. He returned to the series for 2021, during which he was the Fastest Qualifier in two of the season’s three weekends at Darwin and Townsville. He also recorded a pair of victories at Symmons Plains and Darwin. Despite finishing with the same amount of points as Paul Morris with 93, Davies lost the tiebreaker for the championship on wins as Morris’ four trumped Davies’ two.
“I’m very pleased to be joining a new, fresh-faced, and professional team such as Versa in S5000 this season,” commented Davies. “In such a short time, they have produced some stellar results and I can’t wait to become a part of the operation and hopefully push the team even further to the front with my teammate Cooper.
“S5000 is a category I have had my eyes on since its inception and the desire to get behind the wheel of one of these weapons has been strong. I don’t underestimate the challenge ahead, big power and aero is an exciting prospect. I hope my experience with Supercars and GTs puts me in good stead to get up to speed quickly.”
Of the five remaining races on the 2022 S5000 schedule, two have been used by SST as Sydney Motorsport Park hosted a round in 2018 while Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin did so in 2017 and 2021. Sydney will also host the third and final Tasman Series race in November, while that series’ calendar begins in October at Surfers Paradise Street Circuit in Gold Coast, which welcomed SST in 2015, 2016, and 2019. Gold Coast and Sydney were also on the initial 2020 and 2021 Boost Mobile Super Trucks calendars until the pandemic resulted in their cancellations.
The trucks’ agreement with Supercars to continue supporting said category in 2022 was not renewed, though Supercars CEO Shane Howard has expressed interest in bringing them back for 2023. In the meantime, the 2021 driver lineup has landed on their feet elsewhere. Morris’ son Nash, who raced at Darwin, is currently in his Super2 rookie season, while Townsville Race #1 winner Toby Price competes in the World Rally-Raid Championship. Dave Casey will still race a truck as he is in the SuperUtes Series.
“Unexpected racing program for 2022,” wrote Davies on Instagram. “After @ssupertrucksau (Stadium Super Trucks Australia) closed up in Aus I thought it was all over! Thank you to all involved for making it happen! Very grateful. Can’t wait to get behind the wheel!”