Hard work delivering results for Caruso
Michael Caruso feels months of hard work is now being rewarded on track after the Nissan driver emerged as the closest challenger to the Triple Eight and Prodrive squads at Ipswich.
Caruso has climbed to seventh in the championship standings following a run of eight top 10 finishes in the last nine races, which included a victory at Hidden Valley.
The 33-year-old and long-time engineer Steven Todkill once again led the Nissan charge at Queensland Raceway, comprehensively out-performing their three team-mates.
Caruso qualified inside the top 10 for both races but was denied a strong result in Race 16.
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Contact from Fabian Coulthard and a slow pitstop on Saturday was the only blemish in what was another impressive weekend.
He bounced back in Race 17 to finish fourth having been in contention for a podium, before losing out to a charging Chaz Mostert in the final laps.
“It is good to be consistently in that top group,” Caruso told Speedcafe.com.
“It doesn’t come without hard work from the team and myself.
“We feel like we are running a good pace but we do need to continue that progression because we would like to be fighting for trophies every weekend.
“I feel like I’m driving really well at the moment and it is nice that it is paying off with great results.
“That makes a big difference not just to me but for the boys in the team. The hard work is showing up in the results.
“There was not much I could do (about Mostert’s charge on Sunday) but we should still be proud of that considering Saturday’s result.
“We knew we had a fast car in the race to bounce back and we just missed out on a podium.”
Now armed with an engine that is of the equal of the field after prolonged development, Caruso believes small improvements across all areas will ensure he continues to challenge up the front.
“I think when you get to this point of the field it is just everything (that needs to be fine tuned),” added Caruso.
“There is not one key area to improve. It is just about getting it all right on the day.
“I think we have seen cars that are very competitive not be there at the front when they don’t get it right.
“It is important we have a package that you can take everywhere and be competitive.”