James Moffat has underlined his determination to remain in the V8 Supercars Championship in 2013 and beyond following a horror start to his sophomore season in the class.
The Team Norton DJR driver currently sits a lowly 26th in the V8 Supercars Championship having failed to score a single top 10 finish in the opening 17 races.
While Moffat’s current contract with DJR includes an ‘option’ clause for next season, his position has been under question since Charlie Schwekolt announced that he will be taking the #18 Racing Entitlements Contract to Ford Performance Racing next year.
Not wishing to be drawn on pitlane chat linking him to one of two currently unconfirmed seats at Kelly Racing for next season, Moffat says that turning his difficult season around will be the best start to securing his future in the sport.
“I haven’t worked this hard just to disappear out of everybody’s minds. I want to stay in the game,” Moffat told Speedcafe.com.
“This year is about as bad as it could be, for a number of reasons. We’ve been caught up in stuff that has been out of our control, we’ve had a couple of failures, and it has almost been a bit of a snowball effect.
“I’ve been sweating a bit, because this is a results-driven industry, and we haven’t had any good ones this year. If we can have some better results, that’s going to help my future in the sport.
“The absolute priority is to stay in the game, and I’ll be doing my best to make sure that I’m in a competitive position with a competitive drive.”
Thus far, the 2012 season has been a long grind for the former Development Series runner-up. Three top 10 qualifying efforts highlight an otherwise tough time, with a best race result of 13th (at Townsville).
After finished 23rd overall last year, Moffat says his second season hasn’t been helped by recent changes within DJR’s engineering structure.
“We haven’t really had continuity this year,” he said. “My engineer from last year (Perry Capper) left the team (moving to Tekno Autosports), so I started working with Greg Wheeler, and now I’ve had another change (to Ian Walburn, prior to Queensland Raceway).
“It has been difficult to get into a rhythm there, and I’m not using that as the main excuse, but there is a reason why the likes of Triple Eight are successful because they’ve been able to keep those people in those key positions for years and years.”
In response to Moffat’s potential place in Kelly Racing’s Nissan future, team owner/driver Rick Kelly told Speedcafe.com that his squad is currently focused on improving its own dismal 2012 form.
“We’re still a little bit away from it, to be honest,” said Kelly of locking in drivers for next season.
“We’re still very focused on trying to turn our own fortunes around at the moment. None of our four cars are getting the results that we’re satisfied with.
“We’re quite busy in changing a few things, particularly in light of the some of the announcements that we’ve seen the past few days (Performance director Tony Dowe’s departure).
“We need to get back to a level that we know we can achieve, so as far as our drivers go for next year, we’re really no further down the track as to where we were a few weeks ago. Our focus has been in other areas.”
The next event of the V8 Supercars Championship will be held at Sydney Motorsport park on August 25-26.