Qualifying will be the key for Nick Percat when Brad Jones Racing resumes its Supercars Championship push in South Australia this weekend.
Percat started both races from the back of the grid in Tasmania last time out and knows he can't give himself so much work to do at Tailem Bend.
Sitting ninth in the drivers championship, Percat is determined to get himself back among the front-runners.
"We qualified terribly in Tassie and then raced forward," he said. "The race car wasn't slow and I was able to drive it back to the front, which was good, but we need to get on top of the qualifying.
"Tyre life at that track is pretty important. Last year we damaged some tyres in the races which cost us results, so we did some stuff to make sure that's not going to happen and make sure we can finish the races strong."
Percat's yet to break the top-five this season but the BJR race pace was evident as he clawed his way back to 10th in the last outing at Launceston.
"You spend a lot of time trying to pass 10 cars to where you should have qualified and by the time you do that, the race is over," he said. "Just to qualify inside the top-12 would be nice at the moment, not back in the high teens.
"If we had the longer races, not the sprint format, we'd probably drive up nearly into the top five. But if we can qualify well at Tailem Bend, I think we can stay there.
"Last year I qualified fourth and blew the tyres off the thing, so we've got opposite issues at the moment - but it's all part of the motorsport challenge."
Percat and team-mate Todd Hazelwood are both South Australians aiming to shine on home soil.
"We're looking forward to Tailem Bend," said team boss Brad Jones. "It's been, in the past, a good circuit for us. Last year they had a bit of trouble with tyre delamination but we're back to having more tyres for the race so it'll be interesting to see how the racing unfolds.
IN OTHER NEWS
"As far as qualifying goes, the engineers and drivers are working on it flat-out. We had good race speed (in Tasmania) but just couldn't generate enough front grip to get the job done in qualifying. It was very disappointing but that's racing.
"It makes you more determined - certainly me. Qualifying is critical there so we'll chip away at it and hopefully reap some reward."
Qualifying begins at 12.50pm on Saturday.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: